MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The Minnesota Department of Health is looking into a possible factor in vaping-related lung injuries: vitamin E acetate. 

Vitamin E acetate is a synthetic form of vitamin E. Testing by multiple agencies point to it as playing a possible role in lung injuries associated with THC vaping products. 

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The MDH Public Health Laboratory examined seized THC products from 2018 and 2019. All 20 of the products from 2019 contained vitamin E acetate, while none of the five products from 2018 contained the toxin. 

The lab also looked at THC products from 12 patients with confirmed or probable lung injuries. Tests showed 11 of those patients vaped products containing vitamin E acetate. 

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Additionally, a report published Tuesday from the Center for Disease Control examines testing of 29 lung fluid samples from patients with injuries, five of which were from Minnesotans. Vitamin E acetate was found in all samples, which means the toxin is present at the site of injury. 

“Thanks to the work of CDC, local law enforcement and MDH’s lab and epidemiologists, we now have evidence of vitamin E acetate in the lungs of Minnesotans and in illicit THC products from Minnesota during the outbreak,” said Minnesota Commissioner of Health Jan Malcolm in a statement. “We have more work ahead, but every bit of evidence gets us closer to a resolution.”

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In October, officials announced vaping-related deaths in Minnesota were up to three.