(WFRV) — The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has announced that Vitamin E acetate, in combination with THC may in part be to blame for the national outbreak of e-cigarette lung injuries, CNN Health reported Friday.
The CDC has declared this finding as a breakthrough in the investigation, even though more testing needs to be done.
CNN Health reports that the CDC said its test found vitamin E acetate in samples taken from 29 patients who were sick with vaping-related illness in ten states.
Officials say THC or its metabolites were detected in 23 of 28 patients.
CDC’s Dr. James Pirkle said it would not be unusual for THC to be absent from some of the samples, because unlike vitamin E acetate – which he described as “enormously sticky” when it goes into the lungs and it “does hang around” – THC leaves the lungs faster. He added that finding THC in 82% of the samples was “noteworthy.”
“These new findings are significant,” said CDC Principal Deputy Director Dr. Anne Schuchat. “We have a strong culprit.”
CNN Health reports that the CDC has more work to do and that it is continuing to test for a wide range of chemicals.
“This does not rule out other possible ingredients,” Schuchat said. “There may be more than one cause.”
As of Tuesday, the CDC said it was aware of 2,051 cases of lung injury linked to vaping across 49 states, the District of Columbia and the US Virgin Islands. Alaska remains the one state without any vaping-related injuries reported to the CDC. States have reported at least 40 deaths, according to CNN Health.