The CDC performed lab studies on fluid samples from patients who suffered vaping-related lung injuries, testing for a wide range of substances. The results determined that Vitamin E acetate was found in all 29 samples tested from patients across the country, making it the primary toxin of concern in the vaping crisis.
CDC also noted the brands most commonly associated with the recent wave of vaping injuries:
- Dank Vapes
- Smart Carts
What is Vitamin E Acetate?
Vitamin E acetate, also called Tocopheryl acetate, is commonly found in many foods and is available as a vitamin supplement. It’s also prevalent in cosmetic products like skin creams and topicals. It’s important to note that Vitamin E acetate does not cause harm when ingested in capsule form, or when it’s applied topically as a cream.
However, Vitamin E acetate can cause issues with normal lung function when it’s inhaled. It is a sticky substance, like honey, that does not easily go away and can linger and build up inside the lungs.
Vitamin E Acetate & Vaping
Vitamin E acetate has been commonly used by black market vaping manufacturers as an additive in vaping products. Adding it to the vape cartridges makes the oil appear thicker and helps illicit manufacturers dilute their product in order to make counterfeits look legitimate.
Vitamin E acetate is now believed to be the primary culprit behind the recent severe lung illnesses related to vaping. When it reaches a high temperature, Vitamin E acetate goes from an oil to a vapor. This is how it gets to the lungs from the vaping device. Once it reaches the lungs, Vitamin E acetate cools and reverts back into its oil state. This builds up and causes the inner lining of the lungs to get coated and clogged, resulting in the numerous respiratory issues that have been reported.
Testing labs have quickly started incorporating Vitamin E acetate into their testing process for vaping products. Trusted vaping manufacturers are also voluntarily adopting Vitamin E acetate into the testing process to impose high standards for self-regulation in the white market. Test results are typically shared in a Certificate of Analysis (COA). Many brands and manufacturers are choosing to share COAs to promote transparency with consumers.