Public health experts have been warning the public about the health hazards of cancer causing agents in e-cigarettes for a few years, but the battery-operated devices carry another hazard you may not be aware of.
Recently, an Ogden Air Logistics Complex worker’s leg was severely burned when a spare e-cigarette battery caught fire inside a pants pocket. The burns were severe enough for the employee to be admitted to the University of Utah Burn Center.
E-cigarette batteries are explosive and can catch fire if damaged, shorted out or overcharged. While it has not been confirmed, Lt Col G. Hall Sebren, Jr., the 75th Air Base Wing chief of safety, said it is likely the battery caught fire when it contacted the employee’s spare change, which was also in the pocket.
Sebren recommends that spare batteries be stored in an insulated container. He said it is important to know that e-cigarettes are not allowed within 50 feet flammable or explosive hazards. They also cannot be used in most work areas on the base.