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E-Cigarette Explodes in California Man’s Pocket, Causes Third-Degree Burns

© AP Photo / Nam Y. HuhFILE - In this April 23, 2014 file photo, a man smokes an electronic cigarette in Chicago.
FILE - In this April 23, 2014 file photo, a man smokes an electronic cigarette in Chicago. - Sputnik International
A California construction worker underwent two skin graft surgeries after his e-cigarette’s spare battery exploded in his pocket last month, resulting in third-degree burns.

Jason Clar, 42, who spoke about the incident to ABC7, revealed that he is currently in constant pain, even after undergoing multiple surgeries. He is also unsure when he will be able return to work. Clar was wearing heavy construction pants at the time of the incident. 

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"The damage was done, and all the skin on the back of my leg was missing, so I went to the emergency room as fast as I could," Clar told ABC7.

And this is just one of many similar incidents. In February, a 24-year-old man from Fort Worth, Texas, died after a vape pen he'd recently purchased exploded in his face and severed his left carotid artery, according to the Tarrant County Medical Examiner's Office.

Last year in May, 38-year-old Florida resident Tallmadge D'Elia was killed after his e-cigarette exploded and lodged projectiles into his skull. D'Elia also suffered burns to roughly 80 percent of his body, Sputnik previously reported.

In fact, figures from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reveal that between 2015 and 2017, 2,035 people had to go to the hospital following a vape explosion due to a wide range of injuries, some of which were fatal.

According to the FDA, the causes behind e-cigarette explosions are unknown, although there is some evidence that battery-related issues may lead to such explosions. 

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The FDA recommends not removing or disabling any safety features on vapes, such as fire button locks or vent holes, which are used to prevent battery overheatings and explosions. In addition, only batteries that are compatible with the vape device should be used, the FDA advises. Vapes should also not be placed in direct sunlight or left in freezing cold environments for long periods of time.

A July 2017 report from the US Fire Administration, a division of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, also concluded that "e-cigarettes using lithium-ion batteries present a new and unique hazard to consumers."

"No other consumer product places a battery with a known explosion hazard such as this in such close proximity to vital areas of the human body," the report warns.

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