Sunday, Knife Party’s Rob Swire gave fans a scare when he announced through Twitter that he had lost hearing in his left ear; leaving fans and fellow musicians to ponder what the outcome would be; not only for Swire, but for Knife Party’s future as well. While Swire waited until late Monday to update fans on the restoration of his hearing, messages of support immediately began pouring in including one from DJ Jordy Dazz who tweeted, “Dude what? That’s horrible. Get well soon.”
Over the course of several tweets, which began late Monday afternoon, Swire stated “Hearing restored, finally. PSA: if you enjoy being able to hear, e-cigs / vaping is a really f*****g bad idea.” He goes on to explain that propylene glycol, an ingredient in most e-cigarettes, is ototoxic, meaning it is toxic to the cochlea or auditory nerve. “It’s banned from use in ear drops for that exact reason, because it can cause reversible / permanent damage, depending on exposure. The only reason there’s not more info out there about PG when inhaled is that the research hasn’t been done / e-cigs are relatively new. But take it from someone who has just lost all hearing in his left ear for the past 4 days: f**k propylene glycol and everyone that sells it.” Swire also brought up the fact that he could find no research on what happens to propylene glycol when it is heated or inhaled, because the research hasn’t been done. While he did take the time to warn his followers of the alleged dangers of e-cigarettes, he also mentioned, “Not saying anyone needs to panic, just…if you need your ears to work / earn money, tread carefully, wouldn’t wish that shit on anyone.” Journalist Benjamin Wareing agreed with Swire, tweeting “I can back you up on this, actually. I was deaf in one ear for a few weeks and it came back after I quit vaping.” Swire also proposed that if any reputable university audiology departments are willing to study the effects between e-cigarettes and hearing loss, he would be willing to fund the research.
Knife Party, which originally started as a side project, dropped their first album in 2011 though the duo has been performing together since 2002. Since then, they’ve went to make it onto Billboard 200 and have even worked with Rage Against the Machine’s Tom Morello.