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Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

More evidence supports the theory that vitamin E acetate in vaping products may be causing thousands of lung injuries and dozens of deaths among Americans.

Driving the news: Illegal THC-containing e-cigarette or vape products from 11 out of 12 patients in Minnesota with lung injuries also contained vitamin E acetate, according to a report from the CDC on Tuesday.

  • 20 THC-containing products seized during September 2019 contained vitamin E acetate, the study shows. But 10 products tested in 2018 before the outbreak began did not contain the ingredient.

What's happening: Vitamin E acetate is a viscous oil used as an additive in cannabis vape cartridges, allowing thicker clouds to be exhaled.

  • The oil is often used in foods and cosmetics and is not harmful when ingested. Vaporizing and inhaling vitamin E acetate, however, can cause fat to enter the lungs, leading to a sometimes fatal condition called lipoid pneumonia.

The backdrop: The FDA also tested several vape brands in October, which showed vitamin E acetate concentrations of 31% to 88% and lower-than-expected THC concentrations.

  • Most patients interviewed say they obtained these vaping products from black market retailers or from friends, the CDC says.

The bottom line: Health officials are still not ruling out other ingredients or causes of these cases, but cautioned vitamin E acetate should not be added to vaping products.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

3 hours ago - Health

Food banks feel the strain without holiday volunteers

People wait in line at Food Bank Community Kitchen on Nov. 25 in New York City. Photo: Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for Food Bank For New York City

America's food banks are sounding the alarm during this unprecedented holiday season.

The big picture: Soup kitchens and charities, usually brimming with holiday volunteers, are getting far less help.

5 hours ago - Health

AstraZeneca CEO: "We need to do an additional study" on COVID vaccine

Photo: Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

AstraZeneca CEO Pascal Soriot said on Thursday the company is likely to start a new global trial to measure how effective its coronavirus vaccine is, Bloomberg reports.

Why it matters: Following Phase 3 trials, Oxford and AstraZeneca said their vaccine was 90% effective in people who got a half dose followed by a full dose, and 62% effective in people who got two full doses.

Updated 7 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Coronavirus cases rose 10% in the week before Thanksgiving.
  2. Politics: Supreme Court backs religious groups on New York coronavirus restrictions.
  3. World: Expert says COVID vaccine likely won't be available in Africa until Q2 of 2021 — Europeans extend lockdowns.
  4. Economy: The winners and losers of the COVID holiday season.
  5. Education: National standardized tests delayed until 2022.