There are already several known health hazards associated with vaping. Doctors now have a new one: hard-metal lung disease. The condition is likely caused by the coils in the vape pen or electronic cigarette. These coils, which contain toxic metals, are used to heat the e-liquid into an aerosol. Metals from the coils can leak into the e-liquid and cause injury.
Hard-metal lung disease is an illness that is typically observed in industrial workers. They come into contact with toxins through metal dust or vapors. Cells affected by the condition have a distinct appearance, according to Dr. Kirk Jones of the University of California.
Now, the condition is showing up in vape users, according to a recent case report in the European Respiratory Journal. The article describes a 49-year-old woman from California who complained of wheezing, coughing, and shortness of breath. These are common ailments suffered by people who vape. The woman’s lung tissue was examined.
But to the surprise of doctors, the woman’s lungs did not exhibit the typical EVALI case. EVALI stands for e-cigarette, or vaping, product use associated lung injury. Instead, her lungs showed signs of hard-metal lung disease.
The woman does not work in industry, but she did use a vape pen. The e-liquid in her device contained traces of lead, cobalt, chromium, nickel, aluminum, and manganese. It is believed that these metals leached from the heating coil in the vape pen.
Users who vape marijuana may be at an even higher risk of contracting hard-metal lung disease. That’s because the coils must be heated to a higher temperature to turn THC into an aerosol. With more heat, more toxic metals may be released from the coils.
The discovery of a connection between vaping and hard-metal lung disease adds to the growing concerns over the industry. Vitamin E acetate was recently identified as a factor in several injury cases, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
Other health risks associated with vaping and e-cigarettes are:
- Addiction to nicotine
- Lung damage, including a condition known as popcorn lung
- Heart, cardiovascular, and respiratory problems
- Aggravation of other conditions, such as asthma
Unfortunately, the dangers of vaping don’t end there. There have been reports of exploding and burning vape devices, and at least two people have died. It is likely that malfunctioning vape batteries and chargers are to blame.
Some states have taken the initiative to fight back against vaping. New York, for example, banned most flavors of vape juices and e-cigarettes in September. More regulations could follow in other states and at the federal level. It may take extensive litigation to force any major changes, however. The situation has been likened to the lawsuits against Big Tobacco that took place in the 1990s.
If you or a loved one have been injured by vaping or e-cigarettes, you may be eligible for compensation, and should contact our personal injury law firm. Victims have sought these and other damages:
- Medical bills for hospitalization and treatment of injuries
- Prescription drug expenses
- Lost wages and decreased earning capacity due to injury
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
Companies are required to warn their consumers of known health risks. If they fail to do so, their products could cause serious injury or death. Critics have complained that the vaping industry is aware of the dangers of their products. But they have failed to provide adequate safety warnings or take other reasonable steps to make their products safer. This may expose the vaping injury to significant liability through lawsuits.
If You’ve Been Affected by Hard-Metal Lung Disease, We Can Help
The attorneys of Gacovino, Lake & Associates, P.C. have broad experience with product defect lawsuits. We are investigating claims related to vape injuries and are asking potential clients to contact us. Give us a call today to schedule a consultation. We can investigate your claims and let you know what legal rights you may have.