CDC announces 'breakthrough' in search for cause of vaping illnesses
"This is the first time that we have detected a potential chemical of concern in biologic samples from patients with these lung injuries. The findings provide direct evidence of vitamin E acetate at the primary site of injury within the lungs," the study says.
Nicotine was found in 62 percent of the samples, and THC was found in 82 percent.
Vitamin E acetate is a common chemical found in foods and many cosmetic products but can cause lung problems if inhaled.
It is also often used as a thickening ingredient in e-liquids and is sometimes used as an additive in counterfeit THC vape products because of it's resemblance to actual THC oil.
In the report, the CDC includes recommendations that no vaping product should be purchased off the street, nor should anyone modify existing vape products from the way they come when purchased from a legitimate source.
While the study is the first time one chemical has been isolated as a possible cause of the vaping-related illnesses, the CDC is careful to point out there is still information that is not yet known, including the fact that other chemicals are still being studied and that it is possible there is more than one cause.