On Thursday, in New York State, Health officials said that they are investigating a possible cause of a compound called vitamin E acetate which has recently surged in severe vaping-related illnesses.
In a news release, the state Department of Health said that that “very high levels” of the compound had been found in 13 samples from eight of 34 patients who have gotten ill in New York. A state laboratory, Wadsworth Center analysed the samples as part of an investigation.
The New York State health commissioner, Dr. Howard Zucker said, “That’s the best theory, or hypothesis, we have right now.” in an interview. He added “We haven’t ruled out there isn’t something else in the vaping material.”
A spokesman for the Food and Drug Administration, Michael Felberbaum said that more information is needed to understand better that whether there’s a relationship between any specific products or substances and the reported illnesses. He further added that the agency is testing 100 samples for a “broad range” of chemicals.
There have been about two deaths and about 215 illnesses nationwide, since mid-June. The complexity of the products and the geographic spread of the patients across two dozen states has left health officials puzzled and searching for answers.
A New York State toxicologist, Gary Ginsberg that during recent calls with investigators, federal officials Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration said that the vitamin E acetate is one of the substances they are exploring.
According to Dr. Zucker, the health commissioner, of the products containing vitamin E acetate were “on the black market” and not part of New York State’s medical marijuana program.
According to the state news release, New York has had 34 reported cases of severe illnesses, in patients ranging in age 15 to 46. The vitamin E compound was found in tests of cannabis products, but not in the nicotine-based products it tested as said by the state.