US: Likely Cause Of Vaping Illness Outbreak Identified By CDC

US News

The US health officials identified Vitamin E acetate as the oxytocin which caused 39 deaths and sickened thousands of people of vaping-related illness.

Written By Aanchal Nigam | Mumbai | Updated On:

The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention identified the reason behind vaping-related lung injury epidemic which killed 39 people and sickened more than two thousand people as a 'potential toxin of concern' called Vitamin E acetate on November 7.  Investigators had previously thought that the cause of the outbreak was the oil, which is used as a thickening agent for vaping products that contain the psychoactive substance THC. On Thursday, the health officials said that cases for lung illness named 'EVALI' have reached the mark of 2051 across 49 states along with dozens of deaths. 

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Toxin detected in 29 patients

According to the officials, the first reported identification of potential oxytocin of concern in living beings which was present in 29 samples collected by Bronchoscopy and bronchoalveolar lavage or BAL. The doctors believe that BAL can be part of the clinical as well as the diagnostic workup of all vaping-related illness patients. The principal deputy secretary of CDC, Anne Schuchat said that the findings by the authorities provide the direct evidence of vitamin E acetate at the preliminary stage of injury within lungs which is also a 'very strong culprit of concern'. She also said that the presence of any other toxins was not detected in any sample collected by the doctors. However, health officials still believe that more research needs to be done. 

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Vaping in the US

The toxin is mainly found in several food items and is also used in some supplements along with cosmetics products like skin cream, but can infect the lungs if it is inhaled. According to health officials, the reason for vaping-related illnesses can be more than one. The minimum age for vaping according to the announcement by US President Donald Trump is 21 and not 18. Donald Trump had previously expressed concerns with youth vaping and had also worried about the over-regulation of the business. However, until now the last statement received by the US leader is that they will be coming out with a very important position on vaping. 

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(With agency inputs)

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