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Vaping and Bronchiolitis Obliterans

Vaping and Bronchiolitis Obliterans

Lawsuits have been filed against several manufacturers of flavored vapes and e-cigarettes that contain toxic flavor chemicals linked to bronchiolitis obliterans, a severe lung disease nicknamed “Popcorn Lung.”

What You Can Do & How We Can Help

The Schmidt Firm, PLLC is currently accepting vaping induced injury cases in all 50 states. If you or somebody you know has been diagnosed with bronchiolitis obliterans (“Popcorn Lung”), you should contact our lawyers immediately for a free case consultation. Please use the form below to contact our Product Liability Litigation Group or call toll free 24 hours a day at (866) 920-0753.

What is the problem?

Vaping is promoted as a healthier alternative to cigarette smoking, but people who switch may still be exposed to harmful chemicals. Most flavored e-cigarettes and vaping liquids contain at least one chemical linked to lung disease, according to a study published by researchers at Harvard.

Ingredients in Vaping Liquid

  • Water
  • Vegetable glycerin (glycerol)
  • Propylene glycol
  • Nicotine
  • Flavoring

Flavoring Chemicals: Diacetyl and 2,3-Pentanedione

The flavoring chemical diacetyl is sometimes substituted with 2,3-pentanedione, a structurally similar chemical also known as acetyl propionyl. Both are responsible for the buttery or creamy taste of many artificially-flavored foods, including popcorn and e-cigarettes. They are safe to eat and drink, but breathing diacetyl or 2,3-pentanedione is associated with lung disease.

Bronchiolitis Obliterans and “Popcorn Lung”

Bronchiolitis obliterans got the nickname “Popcorn Lung” when it was diagnosed in nearly 200 popcorn factory workers in the mid-2000s, including at least three people who died. Authorities linked the illnesses to inhalation of diacetyl in butter-flavoring.

What is Bronchiolitis Obliterans?

The lung disease bronchiolitis obliterans permanently scars tiny air-sacs in the lungs, which narrows the airways and makes it hard to breathe. The condition tends to progressively worsen over time, though severe symptoms may also appear suddenly. The symptoms of bronchiolitis obliterans may include:

  • Dry cough
  • Wheezing
  • Shortness of breath on exertion
  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Night sweats
  • Weight-loss

Vaping Liquids Often Exceed Exposure Limits for Flavor Chemicals

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) set strict exposure limits for flavoring chemicals in August 2011 — diacetyl was set at 65 μg/day and 2,3-Pentanedione was set at 137 μg/day.

Unfortunately, many flavored vaping liquids on the market contain significantly more chemicals than the NIOSH recommends:

  • Researchers at Harvard published an analysis of 51 sweet-flavored vaping liquids in December 2015. They found diacetyl in 76% of flavors (up to 239 μg/e-cigarette) and 2,3-Pentanedione in 45% of flavors (up to 64 μg/e-cigarette).
  • In September 2014, researchers analyzed 159 vaping liquids and found diacetyl or 2,3-Pentanedione in 74.2% of samples. The highest amount of diacetyl detected was 278 μg/day, and up to 432μg/day for 2,3-Pentanedione.

Class Action Lawsuit Filed Against Five Pawns, LLC

Class action lawsuits (PDF) have also been filed against manufacturers of vaping liquids that contain very high levels of flavor chemicals. According to a complaint filed against Five Pawns:

“Absolute Pin tested at 40 μg/ml of [diacetyl] and an astonishing 2,500 μg/ml of [2,3-Pentanedione]. This means, if a person inhales just 2ml of Absolute Pin e-liquid they will be over the recommended intake for [diacetyl] and more than 36 times over the recommended daily limit for [2,3-Pentanedione].”

Do I have a Vaping Lawsuit?

The Schmidt Firm, PLLC is currently accepting vaping induced injury cases in all 50 states. If you or somebody you know has been diagnosed with bronchiolitis obliterans (“Popcorn Lung”), you should contact our lawyers immediately for a free case consultation. Please use the form below to contact our Product Liability Litigation Group or call toll free 24 hours a day at (866) 920-0753.

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