AMU Emergency Management Public Safety

EDM Monday Briefing: CDC Names Vitamin E Acetate as Potential Culprit in Vaping-Related Illnesses

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Emergency and disaster management briefing for November 11, 2019: More than 60 flood warnings have been issued to residents across England; Mann’s recalls multiple ready-to-eat vegetable products due to the potential contamination of Listeria monocytogenes; Cyclone Bulbul rips through India and Bangladesh, killing at least 13; concern is rising over simulated active shooter drills in schools and their psychological impact, especially on small children; the CDC names vitamin E acetate as the potential culprit in the recent outbreak of vaping-related illnesses; two people are dead after the Porsche they were in crashed into the second story of a building; over 25,100 pounds of ready-to-eat Ezzo sausage products have been recalled due to possible Listeria monocytogene contamination; and the Barham Fire burning in Hollywood Hills is now 80 percent contained.

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1) England has been hard hit by flooding, with several rivers overtopping — including the River Wye, River Derwent and the River Don, which inundated South Yorkshire, including the village of Fishlake — with at least three feet of water. One person died in Matlock, Derbyshire, after being swept away by floodwaters, and members of South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue performed high water rescues in Fishlake amid evacuation orders for the village. A landslide in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, forced the evacuation of at least 12 properties. Multiple train routes operated by National Rail were also impacted by the floodwaters, interrupting or delaying service.

2) Mann’s Packing Co. has issued a recall for ready-to-eat products due to possible Listeria monocytogenes contamination. The recall includes products marketed under several private brands, including Kowalski’s, Crazy Fresh, Quick and Easy Meals, and Amazon Go. Listeria monocytogenes can cause listeriosis; its symptoms include fever, muscle aches, stiff neck, and/or loss of balance.

3) Cyclone Bulbul ripped through Bangladesh and India, killing at least 13 people and forcing more than two million into shelters. Dozens were injured and thousands of homes were destroyed when winds of up to 75 mph ripped through the region, toppling trees in Bangladesh and killing five people. Service at most seaports and airports were suspended, including the two biggest ports in Bangladesh, Mongla and Chittagong; the Chittagong airport also stopped all flights as the storm swept through the area.

4) According to reports, concerns are rising over the psychological impact of simulated, real-life, active shooter drills on children. In some cases, drills have reportedly led to bodily harm and traumatized individuals involved in the drill, due to the allegedly irresponsible way they were conducted. Leading child psychology experts believe that drills conducted in a calm manner, without the realistic affects of actors and simulated gunfire, can be just as effective in ensuring children know what to do and where to go in an actual active shooter incident.

5) New information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicates that vitamin E acetate may be the culprit in the recent outbreak of vaping-related lung illnesses. Lung fluid tested on 29 patients in a government lab found the chemical compound and local health agencies investigating vaping-related illnesses in their states have also pointed to the compound as being suspect. A total of 39 vaping-related deaths have occurred across 24 states with an additional 2,051 recorded illnesses.

6) Authorities in Toms River, New Jersey are investigating how a Porsche went airborne and crashed into the second story of a building. According to reports, the incident occurred early Sunday when the driver of a 2010 Porsche Boxter convertible that was traveling at a high rate of speed lost control. The vehicle hit a center median, then struck an embankment that sent it into the second story of a commercial building. Both the driver, identified as Braden DeMartin, 22, and the passenger, Daniel Foley, 23, were pronounced dead at the scene.

7) More than 25,100 pounds of ready-to-eat sausage products are being recalled due to potential contamination by Listeria monocytogenes. The products were produced by the Ezzo Sausage Company in Columbus, Ohio, and shipped to distribution centers in Ohio and Indiana. The products include multiple private labels, and they contain sliced and chopped pepperoni in 10-, 20-, and 25-pound sizes, as well as 25-pound sizes of sliced pizza sausage.

8) The Barham Fire, burning in Hollywood Hills, is now 80 percent contained according to fire officials in Los Angeles. The wildfire, which broke out just before 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, was being fought by over 230 firefighters, assisted by two fixed-wing aircraft and five water-dropping helicopters to help contain the blaze. The blaze scorched 80 acres in Toluca Lake before being contained, and one firefighter was injured when a boulder fell. However, he is expected to make a full recovery.


Kimberly Arsenault serves as an intern at the Cleveland/Bradley County Emergency Management Agency where she works on plan revisions and special projects. Previously, Kimberly spent 15 years in commercial and business aviation. Her positions included station manager at the former Midwest Express Airlines, as well as corporate flight attendant, inflight manager, and charter flight coordinator. Kimberly currently holds a master's degree in emergency and disaster management from American Public University.

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