The FDA recently released a new report on the potential harms of vaping. In this study, the FDA examined the number of emergency room incidents that resulted from vaping, primarily involving batteries “blowing up.”
While there’s been concern about the integrity of vape batteries recently, this isn’t exclusive. The recent concerns of cell phone batteries as well have shed light on how important the manufacturing and care of these powerful batteries really is, regardless of industry. There’s a few ways to keep any worries of your battery blowing up at bay, but we’ll first look at how much of an issue this currently is.
The FDA study, which analyzed data from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System for the year of 2016, had some revealing takeaways. The NEISS used their partnered emergency room information to gather a recorded 26 visits for the year. Their calculations based on this information put the total number of nationwide visits at about 1,007. Given that the last estimated number of vapers in America, according to the CDC in 2014, was around 11.7 million people, 1,007 is a relatively low number of incidents. The percentage of incidents compared to the estimated number of vapers sits at about 0.0086%.
So how do these things happen? According to the study, a majority of these injuries occurred in the upper leg or pelvic area. The journal states that “at least 20” of the injuries occurred in the pocket. This coincides with a common concern that carrying batteries in your pocket can cause a litany of problems. The report notes that this is likely caused by “a battery coming into contact with metal objects, such as loose coins in pants pockets.” They go on to explain that this “can create an external short circuit which can cause the battery to overheat and to vent or explode.” A plethora of battery carrying cases have been developed due to this concern, and they seem like a pretty good idea. For as little as $1.00 you can get a plastic case to house batteries while you travel or keep them in a bag or pocket, to avoid a battery blowing up on your person.
From media coverage, you’ll most often hear about the facial injuries that have occurred, or a battery blowing up in someone’s face. According to the FDA, head and neck, combined with general upper body and lower leg injuries, account for just 3.1%, with only two cases in the analyzed data, and an estimated 31 nationwide. For reference, that’s approximately 0.00026% of the estimated number of vapers having dealt with a serious facial burn due to their mod.
It should be noted that this study of data does not include, obviously, any incidents that occurred that did not result in an emergency room treatment, or that were treated at specialty burn centers. They made no indication of how many cases may have been missed due to this, because they simply do not have any data.
It is nice to see the FDA using hard data to analyze the risks of vaping. These numbers seem to be low and given that the last estimate for the number of vapers in America was from two years before this emergency room data, the number of incidents could be an even lower percentage, as the number of people vaping appears to be growing. While the concern for a battery blowing up is a real one, doing diligent research about which battery you purchase and being smart about battery care can help keep you safe.
With these concerns in mind, modern devices have taken more and more care in keeping their products safe. Many proprietary mods these days have built-in safeguards, and even battery accepting mods keep their power under certain limits to avoid problems. Short circuit safeguards are an important addition to many mods that are becoming more and more common to deal with issues. Proper care for standalone batteries is one of our biggest concerns, along with unmodified mods that aren’t meant to be tinkered with. Those are two things we believe in for our own safety, outside of any recommendation or study. We keep our batteries separate and clean when not in use, and we will only buy batteries and mods that advertise their safeguards, or we obtain a full understanding of the power systems they use. Much like a phone, or laptop, vape mods have powerful batteries, and obtaining as much information as possible on them will only be beneficial to the user and their safety.
Thank you for reading our article: Vaping Safety: Do You Need to Worry About Your Battery Blowing Up? If you have questions or comments chime in below.