California Lab Finds 80% of Illicit Vape Cartridges are Tainted

A San Diego testing lab said that nearly 80 percent of illicit cannabis vape cartridges it tested contain dangerously high levels of contaminants, including pesticides and lead.

Full story after the jump.

A San Diego, California cannabis testing lab is sounding the alarm after nearly 80 percent of illegal and counterfeit vape cartridges it tested were “unfit for consumption,” KGTV reports. The testing by Infinite Chemical Analysis Labs (InfiniteCAL) discovered 62 percent of cartridges failed for high pesticide levels, while 40 percent failed for lead.

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, there is no safe amount of lead for humans as the heavy metal negatively affects almost every organ and system in the body.

InfiniteCAL co-founder David Marelius told KGTV that one of the vape pens tested by the lab “had almost a hundred times the legal limit” of lead. Additionally,  about 20 percent of the tested products “had a significant amount” of vitamin E acetate, which the Centers for Disease Control linked last year to the vaping-associated pulmonary injury.

Marelius said that about half of the products tested contained less than 50 percent THC.

San Diego-based Platinum Vape has partnered with Mankind, a dispensary in the city, to ‘buyback’ illegally-produced cartridges in exchange for discounted cartridges from its line. Platinum Vape co-founder George Sadler said the illicit vape products do “so much harm to people, versus walking into a licensed store.”

“I think the exposure needs to be there for people to really understand what’s happening.” — Sadler to KGTV.

Last year, California regulators launched Phase 3 testing for the cannabis space that included testing for terpenoids, mycotoxins, heavy metals – including lead – and water activity. According to InfiniteCAL’s Josh Swider, vape products can become tainted even if the cannabis oil is clean due to cartridge hardware quality.

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