Federal authorities have warned that there is a mysterious and sometimes deadly lung illness connected to vaping and that it may be because of vitamin E additives in some products.
According to The Washington Post, the Food and Drug Administration has done testing and found vitamin E acetate — the oil derived from the vitamin in a majority of the marijuana products.
Health officials told the Post that inhaling it may be posing serious health risks.
Michelle Francl, a chemistry professor at Bryn Mawr College has explained that vitamin E acetate is basically grease. Its molecular structure means that “you have to heat it up pretty hot” for it to vaporize.
Once the oil is heated hot enough to vaporize, it can potentially decompose, and “now you’re breathing in who-knows-what,” Francl said.
Many patients have told officials and clinicians that they bought cannabis products off the street.
The mysterious illness has so far killed at least two people and sickened a possible 215 in 25 states, according to the Post.
“We knew from earlier testing by New York that they had found vitamin E acetate, but to have FDA talk about it from their overall testing plan, that was the most remarkable thing that we heard,” said one official.