Vaping and Bronchiolitis Obliterans

popcorn-lung-lawsuitFlavoring chemicals in vapes and e-cigarettes could lead to bronchiolitis obliterans, a chronic respiratory condition known as “Popcorn Lung.” Lawsuits have been filed against vaping liquid manufacturers who sell products with toxic levels of diactyl and other flavor chemicals.

Need a Texas Vaping Injury Lawyer? Collen A. Clark is a true advocate for his clients and is passionate about helping Texans that have been injured or wronged. If you or a loved one was diagnosed with bronchiolitis obliterans, you should contact our lawyers immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a lawsuit in Texas.

What is the problem?

Hundreds of people have been diagnosed with bronchiolitis obliterans (“Popcorn Lung”) after routinely breathing flavoring chemicals. Those same chemicals are used in most flavored e-cigarettes and vaping juices, according to recent studies.

Traditional cigarettes also frequently contain flavoring chemicals like diacetyl, which means smokers who switch to vaping are not actually avoiding all the chemicals that cause lung disease. The problem is that vaping is often marketed as “healthier” than cigarette smoking. Sweet-flavored e-cigarettes might also appeal to children and teenagers.

What is Bronchiolitis Obliterans?

Bronchiolitis obliterans causes inflammation and scarring of the lungs, which constricts the tiniest airways and makes it hard to breathe. It is sometimes misdiagnosed as asthma or Chronic Obstructive Airway Disease (COPD).

What’s in Vaping Juice?

The most common ingredients in “vape juice” are water, vegetable glycerin (glycerol), propylene glycol, nicotine, and flavoring chemicals like diacetyl or its substitutes acetoin and 2,3-Pentanedione (Acetylpropionyl).

Vaping Liquids May Contain Toxic Levels of Flavor Chemicals

In 2011, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) set the daily workplace exposure limit for diacetyl at 65 μg/day. The limit for 2,3-Pentanedione is set at 137 μg/day.

In December 2015, researchers at Harvard published an analysis of 51 samples of vaping liquids in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives. Diacetyl was found in 39 flavors (76%), up to 239 μg/e-cigarette. 2,3-Pentanedione was found in 23 flavors (45%), up to 64 μg/e-cigarette.

An evaluation of 159 vape juices was published in September 2014 by Nicotine & Tobacco Research. Diacetyl and acetyl propionyl were found in 74.2% of samples, up to 278 μg/day for diacetyl and 432μg/day for 2,3-Pentanedione.

Class Action Filed Against Vape Juice Manufacturer

In November 2015, a class action lawsuit was filed against Five Pawns, a maker of high-end vaping liquids. According to the complaint (PDF), some flavors contain significantly more toxic chemicals than the daily recommended exposure limit:

“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].”

Bronchiolitis Obliterans and “Popcorn Lung”

“Popcorn Lung” got its name in the early 2000s, when a group of workers at a Missouri popcorn factory were diagnosed with bronchiolitis obliterans. Investigators linked their illnesses to inhalation of the flavoring chemical diacetyl, which creates a buttery or creamy flavor in microwave popcorn.

Warning Signs & Symptoms

In popcorn factory workers, symptoms of bronchiolitis obliterans have occurred within two years on the job. Symptoms usually appear gradually and progressively worsen over time, but severe symptoms can also appear suddenly. These symptoms may include:

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

Treatment for Bronchiolitis Obliterans

Anti-inflammatory treatments or immunosuppressive therapy can sometimes stop progression, but the disease is incurable. Loss of lung function is often permanent, disabling, and life-threatening. The last-resort treatment is a lung transplant.

Need a Vaping Injury Lawyer in Texas?

Collen A. Clark is a true advocate for his clients and is passionate about helping Texans that have been injured or wronged.

Collen’s amazing success in the courtroom and well known dedication to his clients has earned him the recognition of his peers as one of The Top Trial Lawyers in Texas.”

The Clark Firm has assembled a team of trial lawyers with more than 100 years experience, participation in over 600 jury trials and $260 million in verdicts and/or settlements. Please use the form below to contact our Texas vaping injury lawyers for a free lawsuit review.

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