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Schumer urges recall on exploding e-cigarettes

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Posted at 11:09 AM, Dec 19, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-19 11:17:36-05

As reports of e-cigarettes exploding continue, Senator Charles Schumer is urging the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and the Food and Drug Administration to investigate and recall any e-cigarettes that are found to be potentially dangerous.

Reports of severe burns and permanent injuries after these devices catch fire and explode has raised concerns for many. Schumer cited two particular incidents in New York City where e-cigarette users suffered second and third degree burns after the smoking devices exploded in their pockets.

According to Schumer, more than 2.5 million Americans use e-cigarettes, and that number is on the rise.

"With any other product, serious action would have been taken - and e-cigarettes should be no exception," said Schumer. "Despite the explosions, no recalls have ben issued. It's radio silence from both the industry and the feds, so that's why I'msounding the alarm."

E-cigarettes heat up liquid nicotine and turns it into a vapor that can be inhaled and exhaled. The exploding factor comes from issues with the batteries, many manufactured by Chinese companies.

Schumer wants the CPSC and the FDA to find which e-cigarette batteries and devices are the most dangerous and issue a recall to prevent further explosions and injuries.

According to the FDA and the Associated Press, there have been at least 92 overheating, fire or exploding e-cigarette incidents since 2009, and a report from the Wall Street Journal says dozens of lawsuits have been filed. The AP analysis also said that the number of explosions could actually be larger, but many victims are not reporting them. The FDA says many of these fires and explosions have also involved property damage beyond the e-cigarette itself.

Schumer says the CPSC should investigate immediately and look over injury data to see if there is a pattern that would require a product recall.