The spate of mysterious lung illnesses linked to vaping are most likely caused by noxious chemical fumes, a team of doctors at the Mayo Clinic said Wednesday.
The findings, published in The New England Journal of Medicine, are the latest effort by health officials to determine why hundreds of people across the country have been hospitalized in recent months with dangerous and sometimes fatal lung issues. But the results are a far cry from a silver bullet and appear to only nullify initial reports that speculated patients’ lungs were getting clogged and damaged by the oils that were being inhaled.
“It seems to be some kind of direct chemical injury, similar to what one might see with exposures to toxic chemical fumes, poisonous gases and toxic agents,” Brandon Larsen, a surgical pathologist at the Mayo Clinic in Arizona, said in a statement.
The Mayo effort was the first formal study of tissue samples from patients who fell ill after vaping. Two of those samples came from people who died.
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