E-Cigarette Battery Explosions Causing Injuries
The electronic cigarette (vaping) industry has expanded at an impressive rate over the last few years. The industry reached sales of over $2.5 billion in 2014. Also known as personal vaporizers, e-cigarettes work by heating a liquid, usually containing nicotine and flavoring, until the liquid vaporizes so it can be inhaled. The devices can also be used to vaporize hash oil derived from the cannabis (marijuana) plant.
While the FDA has released proposed regulations to control the health effects of e-cigarettes, the actual delivery system itself has yet to come under regulatory scrutiny. Recent reports have surfaced of injuries to e-cigarette users from device failure. These failures usually result from an explosion of the lithium-ion batteries used in most electronic cigarette devices. Once the battery fails and explodes it can burn users or result in a fire when contacting clothing or other flammables. Injuries from e-cigarette failure include:
- Facial burns
- Body burns
- Fires causing destruction of personal property
- Fires causing destruction of a dwelling
With over 2.5 million users in the U.S. and the number of users rising, the number of e-cigarette injuries can only be expected to rise as well. Speak with one of our New York e-cigarette injury attorneys if you have been effected.
We aggressively litigate cases on behalf of the injured. Discuss details of your case by calling (888) 260-0473.
How the E-Cigarette Battery Can Fail
As mentioned previously, most e-cigarette devices use a lithium-ion battery in order to vaporize the "juice" or e-liquid. Similar lithium-ion batteries are used in many portable devices, such as cell phones and laptops. The cylindrical lithium-ion battery used in e-cigarettes is made by winding layers of metallic material separated by a porous liquid electrolyte film. The battery is densely packed into a metal cylinder to fit into the cylindrical device. A flammable liquid electrolyte is the final ingredient.
If the liquid electrolyte is heated too much it can form a gas and explode from the metal battery cylinder and cause a fire.
Diacetyl in E-Liquids causing Bronchiolitis Obliterans
A recent study found that many flavored e-cigarette liquids contain diacetyl, a chemical that can cause a permanent lung disease, bronchiolitis obliterans, popularly known as "Popcorn Lung." Bronchiolitis obliterans is a rare and life-threatening form of permanent obstructive lung disease in which the bronchioles are compressed and narrowed by scar tissue and/or inflammation. Symptoms, which frequently present gradually, include:
- Dry cough
- Shortness of breath
- Weight loss, and
- Difficulty exhaling quickly.
Diagnosis of bronchiolitis obliterans can be difficult and is often misdiagnosed as asthma, chronic bronchitis, emphysema, or pneumonia. Diagnosis may require breathing tests, X-rays, chest scans, and lung biopsies. The disease is relatively unresponsive to current medical treatment. While symptoms may improve over time, patients may require a lung transplant.
30+ Years litigating cases
At Rheingold Giuffra Ruffo & Plotkin LLP, we have been helping people from New York and across the nation with their most critical legal problems for over 30 years. We are experienced in handling complicated explosion and fire cases, including explosions involving automobiles, trucks, clothing and other products. Our New York product liability attorneys have the knowledge and proficiency to handle your e-cigarette injury claim.