File – In this Aug. 28, 2019, file photo, a man exhales while smoking an e-cigarette in Portland, Maine. The U.S. government has refined how it is measuring an outbreak of breathing illnesses in people who vape, now counting only cases that are most closely linked to electronic cigarette use. Health officials on Thursday, Sept. 12, 2019 said 380 confirmed cases and probable cases have been reported in 36 states and one U.S. territory. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty, File)

LOGAN – When Center for Disease Control scientists theorized recently that Vitamin E acetate is behind recent deaths related to vaping, Utah State University emeritus professor Steve Aust agreed Vitamin E can be toxic.

Dr. Aust said Vitamin E is included in vaping solutions because it is water soluble, which is needed when adding marijuana extract to the solution.

“It dissolves beautifully in Vitamin E acetate, so it’s used as a carrier for things,” Dr. Aust explained. “And, by the way, those things like Tetrahydro Cannabinol — or marijuana — it’s know very well that once you isolate the cannabinol out of the marijuana plant, it’s very susceptible to oxidation.”

Dr. Aust said oxidation, when iron is found in lung tissue, is not good. He explained what must be done to keep those who vape from getting sick.

“There needs to be an investigation to see if those people who have died or are particularly sick from the disease, to see if they have a metabolic imbalance in their iron metabolism.”

Dr. Steve Aust taught for 21 years at USU and for a time was Director of the school’s Biotechnology Center.

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