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Minnesota health officials say severe lung injuries linked to vaping THC

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Electronic Cigarettes Seizure Risk
In this 2018 file photo, a high school principal displays vaping devices that were confiscated from students in Massachusetts.
Steven Senne/AP

Minnesota health officials suspect dozens of severe lung injuries are linked to vaping marijuana compounds.

More than 200 similar cases have been reported nationwide. Minnesota Department of Health Epidemiologist Stacy Holzbauer said officials have interviewed a dozen of the Minnesota victims.

“Those 12 have divulged that they've vaped THC, and the vast majority of them have also mentioned vaping nicotine products as well,” said Holzbauer.

Holzbauer said state and local labs are trying to test vaping materials that may be connected to the lung injuries, called chemical pneumonia in some cases.

“All of our cases who have reported using these THC products have reported buying them off the black market, so we have absolutely no idea what was inside these cartridges that they were vaping,” said Holzbauer. “We don't know what solvents or other ingredients were in there. And at this point we have no idea what's causing the illness.”

Holzbauer said they're still hoping to hear from others who may have been sickened, but not sought medical care or been hospitalized.