Researchers: Lung damage of vapers looks like chemical burns

Health News

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WSYR) There is a possible lead in vaping-related health issues. Research released Wednesday night says chemicals in vape liquid may cause lung damage. 

The letter was published in the New England Journal of Medicine. According to the Mayo Clinic, the lung damage looked like chemical burns. Doctors said some lung damage they see from vaping is similar to what they see in people who have been exposed to toxic chemical spills.

Those involved in the data investigated lung tissue in 17 people who had vaped. Most of those sampled used cannabis oils or marijuana.

Images in the research show lung tissue with chemical injuries from vaping. An author on the study says the pink circular structure is the airway wall. Doctors say there shouldn’t be anything in the middle, but these images show inflammation, which blocks oxygen.

Dr. Damanpaul Sondhi is the Divison Chief of Pulmonary and Critical Care at Rochester General Hospital. He said although they don’t know what chemicals are in e-liquid yet, this research gives more insight into the 17 vaping-related deaths around the country.

“They cannot breathe. We cannot oxygenate them even when you put them on 100 percent oxygen through the ventilators. Chemical spill injury, it’s not directly going into your lung, vaping is directly inhaling them into our lungs so this is potentially more serious than just a chemical spill realted injury,” said Dr. Sondhi.

Locally, there have been sixteen cases of vaping-related illnesses.

A pathologist involved in the study says more investigation into the matter is still needed.  Vaping deaths have been reported in numerous states including California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, New Jersey, and Virginia.

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