CDC pinpoints potential culprit for vaping illnesses

The CDC on Nov. 8 identified vitamin E acetate as the chemical potentially causing the string of vaping-related lung illnesses that has sickened more than 2,000 people nationwide, reports The Wall Street Journal.

The agency tested lung fluid samples from 29 patients in 10 states and found vitamin E acetate in every sample. The chemical is used as an additive in some vaping products. The agency also tested for other common chemicals found in vaping products, but no others were detected in patient samples.

"This is the first time that we have detected a potential chemical of concern in biologic samples from patients with these lung injuries," the agency said in an update. "These findings provide direct evidence of vitamin E acetate at the primary site of injury within the lungs."

The findings are not enough to label vitamin E acetate the official cause of the lung illnesses but do offer a significant breakthrough in the agency's investigation.

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