The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has identified a possible culprit in the ongoing e-cigarette crisis, foreign media reported. Now, the crisis has led to more than 2,000 e-cigarette cases in the United States, 39 of which have been fatal.
The CDC warns that while it may not be a single cause of the outbreak and that further research is needed to determine causality, it has confirmed that vitamin E acetate is a major source of lung damage in users associated with e-cigarettes and e-cigarette products.
At a news conference Friday local time, CDC Deputy Director Dr. Anne Schuchat revealed that the lab tested samples of the lungs of 29 patients with EVALI, broncho leaching (BAL) samples, and found that all samples contained vitamin E acetate. In addition, 42% of the samples were found to be tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and nicotine was found in 61% of the samples.
“These new findings are significant because for the first time, we have found a worrying potential toxin, vitamin E acetate, in biological samples of patients who steam e-cigarettes or steam e-cigarettes cause lung damage,” Schuchat said. These findings provide direct evidence of vitamin E acetate in the main areas of lung damage. “
It is reported that vitamin E acetate is a steam liquid mainly used to dilute thaise thaise, but may also be found in steam products without THC. However, all 29 patients tested were likely to have used THC, although only 23 THCs were found in 29 BAL samples. As Dr. Jim Pirkle of the CDC’s Environmental Health Laboratory points out, this is because THC does not exist in the lungs and vitamin E acetate does not exist.
Although vitamin E acetate is widely and safely taken as a vitamin supplement or as a cream applied to the skin, Schuchat said previous non-cdc studies have shown that inhalation of it may interfere with normal lung function. However, further research is needed before the causal relationship between vitamin E acetic acid and EVALI can be determined.
But at the same time, Schuchat stressed the importance of following the CDC’s previous recommendation not to use steam products containing THC, especially those from the Internet, illegal markets, and sales by friends or family. Because a large number of EVALI patients report that the e-cigarettes they use containing THC come from these informal pathways.
In addition, Schuchat added that some steam products sold at licensed marijuana dispensaries in some states may also intentionally or unintentionally contain vitamin E acetate. While stressing that most EVALI cases are related to informal sources, Schuchat also stressed that since this is a very serious disease and can even be fatal, she does not think they have enough knowledge to completely rule out the possibility of pharmacy access. However, she believes that in view of the current crisis, national regulators are currently reviewing their regulations.
The CDC will continue to investigate whether vitamin E acetate is the culprit for the current outbreak of lung damage in the United States, or other combinations of compounds or compounds.