A vaping store in New York City. Photo: by Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Lung injuries from vaping are "most likely" caused by direct toxicity or tissue damage from noxious chemical fumes, the Mayo Clinic said in a statement Wednesday announcing new findings. But the researchers cautioned the study is in its early stages and based on a small sample size.

Why it matters: Scientists are trying to determine the cause of the vaping-associated lung disease, which has led to at least 17 deaths, more than 800 reported injuries in almost all U.S. states, and bans on various vaping and tobacco products.

Details: In the letter published Oct. 2 in the New England Journal of Medicine, researchers reviewed lung biopsies from 17 patients, "all of whom had vaped and were suspected to have vaping-associated lung injury," the Mayo Clinic said.

  • Lipids, fatty substances found in mineral oils were suspected as a possible cause of the lung injuries associated with vaping, but the researchers in this study found no evidence of this causing the tissue injury.
"While we can't discount the potential role of lipids, we have not seen anything to suggest this is a problem caused by lipid accumulation in the lungs. Instead, 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 agent."
— Mayo Clinic Arizona surgical pathologist Brandon Larsen, in statement

Go deeper: U.S. investigates fatality from vaping as lung-related illnesses rise

Go deeper

Louisville police declare state of emergency as Breonna Taylor decision looms

A demonstrator holds up a sign of Breonna Taylor during a protest in Louisville, Kentucky. Photo: Brandon Bell/Getty Images

The Louisville police chief declared in a memo obtained by news outlets a "state of emergency" for the department on Monday to prepare for Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron's expected announcement on the Breonna Taylor case.

Of note: Louisville has witnessed more than 115 days of protests over the police killing of Taylor, an unarmed Black woman, with calls for all the officers involved to be charged.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 31,1833,800 — Total deaths: 962,793— Total recoveries: 21,348,410Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 6,833,800 — Total deaths: 199,818 — Total recoveries: 2,615,949 — Total tests: 95,841,281Map.
  3. Health: CDC says it mistakenly published guidance about COVID-19 spreading through air.
  4. Media: Conservative blogger who spread COVID-19 misinformation worked for Fauci's agency.
  5. Politics: House Democrats file legislation to fund government through Dec. 11.
  6. World: U.K. upgrades COVID alert level as Europe sees worrying rise in infections — "The Wake-Up Call" warns the West about the consequences of mishandling a pandemic.

Sen. Cory Gardner on vacant Supreme Court seat: "I will vote to confirm"

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) will vote to confirm President Trump's nominee to replace the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg, he announced in a statement Monday.

Why it matters: The development is a win for President Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.). It should mean Republicans are all but assured to have enough support to hold hearings for Trump's potential nominee.

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