Robert Duval, New England Regional Manager for National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) discusses "e-cigarettes", battery-operated devices that provide inhaled doses of nicotine through a vaporized liquid solution.
Robert Duval NFPA New England Regional Manager/Senior Fire Investigator E-CIGARETTES – Fire Safe? Fire-Safe Cigarette Conference October 28-29, 2009
What is an e-cigarette? <ul><li>An electronic cigarette or "e-cigarette" is a battery-powered device that provides inhaled doses of nicotine by delivering a vaporized liquid nicotine solution. It is an alternative to smoked tobacco products, such as cigarettes, cigars, or pipes. </li></ul><ul><li>In addition to nicotine delivery, this vapor also provides a flavor and physical sensation similar to that of inhaled tobacco smoke, while no tobacco, smoke, or combustion is actually involved in its operation. </li></ul><ul><li>Some devices are “nicotine-free” </li></ul>
FDA Warnings: Posted 8-12-09 The Food and Drug Administration is warning consumers about potential health risks associated with electronic cigarettes. Also known as "e-cigarettes," electronic cigarettes are battery-operated devices designed to look like and be used in the same manner as conventional cigarettes. Sold online and in many shopping malls, the devices generally contain cartridges filled with nicotine, flavor and other chemicals. They turn nicotine, which is highly addictive, and other chemicals into a vapor that is inhaled by the user. The FDA said it is concerned that e-cigarettes can increase nicotine addiction among young people and may lead kids to try other tobacco products, including conventional cigarettes. In addition, the products may contain ingredients that are known to be toxic to humans because clinical studies about the safety of these products for their intended use have not been submitted to the FDA. Of particular concern, the FDA said, is that e-cigarettes are sold without any legal age restrictions and are available in different flavors such as chocolate, strawberry and mint, which may appeal to young people. In addition, the devices do not contain any health warnings comparable to FDA-approved nicotine replacement products or conventional cigarettes.
Fire Incident: Minneapolis, MN 8/14/09 This morning at 0448 a Fed Ex MD-11 landed at MSP and started to taxi to the ramp and while en-route to his ramp received a smoke detector activation from the forward lower cargo compartment. The crew declared an emergency and MSP ARFF responded to the cargo ramp. When crews arrived they found light smoke and when the forward lower cargo door was opened they could clearly see smoke coming from a specific container. The fire was extinguished and the container removed there was no damage to the aircraft.
Lithium Batteries: Debate on lithium batteries reignites By Alan Levin, USA TODAY – August 26, 2009 An airline pilots union is calling for a government ban on shipments of lithium batteries aboard aircraft after a series of fires in recent years. The Air Line Pilots Association said Tuesday that federal regulators have been slow to act on the issue. Pilots are calling for a ban on all lithium-based battery shipments on passenger and cargo jets. The ban would not apply to devices containing batteries brought aboard by passengers. "The evidence of a clear and present danger is mounting," said Mark Rogers, an airline pilot and director of the union's dangerous goods programs. "We need an immediate ban on these dangerous goods to protect airline passengers, crews and cargo," Rogers said. Since March 2008, there have been six fires on board passenger and cargo jets linked to lithium-based batteries, according to the Federal Aviation Administration. None of the incidents caused deaths or serious injuries.
Lithium Battery Incidents: <ul><li>Aug. 14, 2009, Minneapolis: A fire in a cargo container on a FedEx jet is discovered shortly after landing. The fire is linked to lithium-ion batteries in a box of smokeless cigarettes. </li></ul><ul><li>June 18, 2009, Honolulu: A lithium-ion battery designed to power bicycles was discovered in a burned package as it was being unloaded from a UPS jet. </li></ul><ul><li>Aug. 8, 2008, en route from Washington, D.C., to Dallas: A passenger on American Airlines noticed his laptop was smoking. </li></ul><ul><li>March 18, 2008, Denver: A United Airlines employee burned his hand when lithium batteries in a flashlight exploded in a jet's cockpit on the ground. </li></ul><ul><li>March 4, 2008, en route from Chicago to Tokyo: A video player emitted a 10-inch shower of sparks when the lithium-ion battery ignited on a United flight. </li></ul>