Ontario’s health ministry reported Monday that it has detected 2,497 cases of flavoured e-cigarette liquid containing a high amount of cancer-causing chemical, prompting a health recall.
Samples of the liquid nicotine had a concentration of 80 parts per million or more of the chemical, called Cv23, as opposed to what is permitted by the Food and Drug Administration, the province said.
In a statement Monday, Ontario Health Minister Helena Jaczek said, “the threat is as real as the many companies not recalling these potentially harmful products.”
The batch, under the brand name WCT LJ Stick, had been imported from the United States, Health Canada said in a statement, adding that it had not been recalled at the time of the announcement.
According to the Department of Health, the bottle has been distributed by various brands to retailers across the province and been made available for sale online.
The affected brands include, Vuse by Philip Morris, Triggers by IPC, Ecolectors by IPC, and Xylitol by IPC. They are also sold as Vapor On Demand by Green Vapor Co., Green Vapor Co. that is only offered in Ontario, Break Clean by Green Vapor Co., and Ostro Litter Clean by Green Vapor.
The company at the heart of the issue, San Rafael Brands of California, said in a statement on its website that it was recalling the E-Lites brand products. It said that only a limited amount of Vuse liquid nicotine had been affected and that no one who used the product had been affected.
An employee of the company was apparently unaware that the e-liquid containers did not meet safety standards. “The way they’re looking at this, I don’t understand why people are freaking out,” he told CBC News.