Man killed when vape pen ex­plodes

The Mercury - - NEWS -

TAMPA BAY: A 38-year-old man in Florida was killed when his vape pen ex­ploded, send­ing pro­jec­tiles into his head and caus­ing a small fire in his house, in what is be­lieved to be one of the first deaths from an e-cig­a­rette ex­plo­sion.

Tall­madge D’Elia was found on May 5 in the burn­ing bed­room of his fam­ily’s home in St Petersburg, ac­cord­ing to the Tampa Bay Times.

An au­topsy re­port re­leased this week blamed a vape pen ex­plo­sion for his death, ac­cord­ing to lo­cal news me­dia.

The cause of death was listed as “pro­jec­tile wound of head” – the pen ex­ploded into pieces, at least two of which were sent into his head, the re­port said – and he suf­fered burns on about 80% of his body.

The “mod”-type pen, dis­trib­uted by Smok-E Moun­tain, is man­u­fac­tured in the Philip­pines, ac­cord­ing to a com­pany Face­book page.

The Face­book page is not cur­rently pub­licly accessible.

Ac­cord­ing to a re­port from the US Fire Ad­min­is­tra­tion (part of the Fed­eral Emer­gency Man­age­ment Agency), there were at least 195 in­ci­dents in which an elec­tronic cig­a­rette ex­ploded or caught fire from 2009 through 2016, re­sult­ing in 133 in­juries, 38 of which were se­vere.

But there were no recorded deaths in the pe­riod of the study.

The ex­plo­sions usu­ally oc­cur sud­denly, the re­port found, “and are ac­com­pa­nied by loud noise, a flash of light, smoke, flames, and of­ten vig­or­ous ejec­tion of the bat­tery and other parts”.

More than half of the to­tal in­ci­dents, 128, in­cluded fires started on nearby ob­jects.

The re­port blamed the in­ci­dents on the preva­lence of lithium-ion bat­ter­ies in the prod­ucts.

“No other con­sumer prod­uct places a bat­tery with a known ex­plo­sion haz­ard such as this in such close prox­im­ity to the hu­man body,” it said.

“It is this in­ti­mate con­tact be­tween the body and the bat­tery that is most re­spon­si­ble for the sever­ity of the in­juries that have been seen.

“While the fail­ure rate of the lithium-ion bat­ter­ies is very small, the con­se­quences of a fail­ure, as we have seen, can be se­vere and lifeal­ter­ing for the con­sumer.”

A rep­re­sen­ta­tive from Smok-E Moun­tain told Tampa TV sta­tion WFTS that it be­lieved the prob­lem to be an is­sue with the de­vice’s atom­iser or bat­tery, and not the de­vice it­self.

The health ef­fects re­lated to the in­ges­tion of e-cig­a­rette vapour are still be­ing stud­ied by govern­ment agencies.

There are no reg­u­la­tions that ap­ply to the safety of the elec­tronic me­chan­ics or bat­ter­ies of e-cig­a­rettes, the US Fire Ad­min­is­tra­tion re­port noted, though they are be­ing con­sid­ered by the Food and Drug Ad­min­is­tra­tion.

The Cen­ters for Dis­ease Con­trol and Pre­ven­tion’s rec­om­men­da­tions for e-cig­a­rette use in­clude: not car­ry­ing loose e-cig­a­rette bat­ter­ies in a pocket, where they could come into con­tact with other metal ob­jects; not charg­ing with a phone charger; not charg­ing while unat­tended; and not mixing and match­ing dif­fer­ent brands or old and new bat­ter­ies. – The Washington Post


Ac­cord­ing to a US re­port, there have been at least 195 in­ci­dents in which an e-cig­a­rette ex­ploded or caught fire from 2009 to 2016, re­sult­ing in 133 in­juries, 38 of which were se­vere.

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