Journalists of the NBC News publication conducted their own investigation to establish the probable cause of the viper disease, which, according to the American CDC, claimed the lives of 13 people, more than 800 US residents were hospitalized.
Hazardous impurities found only in samples of counterfeit products
NBC News correspondents bought 18 cartridges with THC and handed them over to CannaSafe for examination. Lab technicians did not find pesticides or heavy metals in three products purchased from legal stores. However, in 13 out of 15 samples purchased on the black market, they found vitamin E (used as a solvent) and the pesticide myclobutanil, which when heated turns into hydrocyanic acid. This substance causes tissue-type oxygen starvation, which leads to a violation of the central nervous system, up to a complete stop of breathing.
David Downs, head of Leafly’s online portal, believes the Chinese are doing the poisonous vaping. In an interview, he said: “Counterfeit products are made in China. They take empty cartridges, fill them with liquids with THC or nicotine, add flavors and thickeners and then ship the finished products to the United States.”
Authorities begin to ban electronic cigarettes
Scientists have not yet been able to establish the exact cause of the viper disease, however, several state governments have already taken preventive measures to prevent new casualties among the population. In Michigan and New York, a temporary restriction was placed on the sale of vapors with flavors; in Massachusetts, it was forbidden for four months to sell any liquids and cartridges for electronic cigarettes. Indian authorities have introduced a permanent ban on the production, sale, and import of vape liquids.
The Canadian Ministry of Health has asked vapers to seek medical attention immediately for the first symptoms of respiratory illness. Doctors were ordered to ask patients suffering from chest pain, shortness of breath and hyperventilation about whether they used cartridges or liquids for electronic cigarettes.
U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Ned Sharpless called on Congress to take additional steps to combat vaper disease. According to him, in the near future, the agency will publish a decree according to which all companies will have to withdraw products from circulation and not put them on the market until the FDA gives the go-ahead.
In Russia, there has not yet been a single case of pulmonary disease associated with soaring. However, the Ministry of Health plans to organize studies on the negative effects of using a vape.