Se­na­tor calls to re­call ex­plod­ing e-ci­garettes

Kuwait Times - - HEALTH & SCIENCE -

US Sen Charles Schumer is in­creas­ing the heat on the fed­eral gov­ern­ment to con­sider re­call­ing e-cig­a­rette bat­ter­ies and de­vices that ex­plode and catch fire, in­jur­ing users. Schumer, a New York Demo­crat, has called e-ci­garettes “tick­ing time bombs” and said they con­tinue to cause in­juries in­clud­ing se­vere burns. Eci­garette user Ka­t­rina Wil­liams, a New York freight man­ager, said she wanted a safer al­ter­na­tive to smok­ing reg­u­lar tobacco ci­garettes and thought e-ci­garettes were the an­swer - un­til one ex­ploded in her pocket in April as she drove home from a beauty salon.

“It was like a fire­cracker,” she said, as it seared third-de­gree burns in her leg, blasted through her charred pants and stuck in the dash­board. As the use of e-ci­garettes has in­creased over the past year, sim­i­lar painful ac­ci­dents have been recorded with greater fre­quency, with faulty lithium-ion bat­ter­ies seen as the likely cul­prits. The same types of bat­ter­ies are used safely in many con­sumer elec­tron­ics, but they’ve been be­hind fires in hover boards and smart­phones.

Schumer said he wants the US Con­sumer Prod­uct Safety Com­mis­sion and the US Food and Drug Ad­min­is­tra­tion to fig­ure out why so many de­vices, many from China, are ex­plod­ing. He said the re­cent in­juries are proof fed­eral ac­tion is needed. Schumer, who planned to hold a press con­fer­ence yes­ter­day to ad­dress the is­sue, cited a re­cent AP story say­ing the FDA iden­ti­fied about 66 ex­plo­sions in 2015 and early 2016 af­ter record­ing 92 ex­plo­sions from 2009 to Septem­ber 2015.

The AP story said the num­bers kept by the FDA may be an un­der­count. Just one hospi­tal, the UW Medicine Re­gional Burn Cen­ter at Har­borview Med­i­cal Cen­ter in Seat­tle, said it has seen more than 20 pa­tients with e-cig­a­rette burns since it started tracking them in­for­mally in Oct 2015.

CHICAGO: In this April 23, 2014 file photo, e-ci­garettes are on dis­play at the Vape store. — AP

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