Users of a new way of smoking cigarettes make claims that e-cigarettes are not as unhealthy as traditional cigarettes. Now that they have been around for a few years, however, another issue with these smoking devices have come to light recently. The e-cigarette uses a liquid nicotine, and the device uses a battery to turn that liquid into a "smoke" using vaporization (whence the term "vaping" comes). It is those batteries that have recently come under scrutiny. If you or someone you care about uses e-cigarettes, read on to learn more about the danger involved.
Unsafe batteries: Everything from laptops to hover-boards to cell phones seem to be plagued by strange and dangerous incidents of batteries exploding or catching fire, and e-cigarettes have joined the list of devices affected by bad batteries. When you consider how close these e-cigarette devices are held to your body, or even kept in a pocket, you can understand the potential for serious burns. The Food and Drug Administration has been tracking incidents involving exploding batteries in e-cigarettes and has found at least 134 cases during a 7-year period.
Serious harm from these explosions and fires: The batteries that power the vaporizers are small, but pack a big, dangerous punch when something goes wrong. Tiny sparks can ignite the user's clothing, causing serious burns. Burns can mean months of hospitalization and painful skin graft surgeries to repair the damage done by these bad batteries. In some cases, these devices have exploded while at the mouth and lips, causing disfigurement to the teeth, tongue, gums and lip area.
The cause of the battery malfunctions: The main culprit seems to be a lack of proper ventilation in the compartment that holds the battery. This allows pressure to build up and the lithium battery then explodes or catches fire. Questions still remain when it comes to what is to blame: the device, the battery or the exact circumstances that led to the problem.
Use safety precautions:
- Use the correct battery for your device.
- Avoid over-charging by using a smart charger. Over-charging can lead to battery failure.
- Use the correct charger for your battery.
- Avoid extreme temperature changes.
- Never keep batteries loose in your pocket or bag.
- Check batteries often for damage and discard those that look suspect.
You may be entitled to compensation if you or a loved one has been harmed by these devices. Contact a personal injury attorney like Kaston & Aberle for more information. You have the right to use products that as safe as possible, and your case could help send a message to manufacturers to ensure safer products for the future.