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COLGATE PALMOLIVE EXPLODING TOOTHBRUSH RECALL

There is a critical recall notice today involving "Colgate Motion Electric Toothbrush".  Colgate-Palmolive is recalling their this particular electric toothbrush over safety concerns, in particular, the potential for the "Colgate Motion Electric Toothbrush" to explode in the hands of the user. Consumers and retailers are being advised to contact Colgate Palmolive regarding the recall notice of their electric toothbrush at 1-800-268-6757 or motion@colpal.com to obtain further information regarding the Colgate Electric Toothbrush Recall.

Colgate-Palmolive reports there have been nine incidents in Canada associated with the use of their "Colgate Motion Electric Toothbrush." The incident reports submitted to the company indicated their Colgate battery operated toothbrushes had "exploded". According to Colgate Palmolive, the makers of the recalled Colgate Motion Electric Exploding toothbrush, none of these incidents resulted in long-term injuries.

Health Canada recommends that consumers do not use the recalled Colgate Motion Electric Toothbrush. It is also important to note that Colgate-Palmolive is no longer manufacturing this exploding electric toothbrush, but it may still be in stores across Canada until the recall has been completed.

Colgate Palmolive has assured Health Canada that they are monitoring, investigating and responding to consumers regarding reports of exploding toothbrushes and has stopped sale of the "Colgate Motion Electric Toothbrush". The exploding battery operated electric toothbrush is no longer licensed for sale in Canada.

The Colgate Motion Electric Toothbrush is a battery-operated electric toothbrush. The head of the unit contains both a rotating brush as well as a stationary brush. The handle or base of the unit contains the motor and the battery.

 

Editor Note: If you look very carefully in the bottom right hand corner of the back of the package, there is a little bit of text that says "Made in China" Now is this a big surprise???

 

FDA ORDERS PROPOXYPHENE, Dextropropoxyphene, Darvocet and others off Drug Store Shelves

The FDA has asked that  Dextropropoxyphene aka Propoxyphene - Trade-names for Propoxyphene include Darvocet-N and Di-Gesic Darvon with APAP for dextropropoxyphene and paracetamol and Darvon with ASA for dextropropoxyphene and asperin. According to the FDA Report, Propoxyphene "puts patients at risk of potentially serious or even fatal heart rhythms” and concluded its risks outweigh the benefits of using Propoxyphene for pain relief. Darvon is propoxyphene alone, and Darvocet combines that ingredient with acetaminophen (aka Tylenol)

Other brand names of Propoxyphene included in the recall are Darvon and Darvocet, Xanodyne Pharmaceuticals be removed from the US market. The Propoxyphene recall will also effect generic Propoxyphne manufacturers and the manufactorers of propoxyphene-containing products. The maker of the branded version of the drugs, Xanodyne, has already said it will comply with the Propoxyphene recall notice.

The FDA has told medical professionals to stop prescribing propoxyphene. Patients who are taking the stated medications should not sinply stop taking it, ut should contact their doctor soon as possible to discuss switching to another pain-management therapy. The WSJ reports that in 2007, there were 20 million prescriptions written for the two drugs.


Propoxyphene is an opioid typically used to treat mild to moderate pain. It was first approved by the FDA in 1957. It is sold by prescription under various names alone or in combination with acetaminophen. Since 1978, the FDA has received two requests to remove propoxyphene from the market.
 

Darvon has been controversial for years. Public Citizen started asking for its removal way back in 1978 and today said the FDA’s move came too late to save many lives. It called propoxyphene a “deadly but barely effective painkiller.” (Though the Health Blog has been prescribed Darvocet before and it certainly left us feeling no pain.)

In 2005, the UK ordered propoxyphene off the market on concerns that it was too easy to overdose on the drug. Europe’s main medical regulator recommended its removal in 2009.

About a month after the European decision, the FDA said it would require a boxed warning on Darvon and Darvocet. It ignored the advice of an outside advisory panel to pull the drugs entirely, saying they were an “acceptable” option when used at recommended doses. It said it required Xanodyne to conduct a new safety study and that those results are what led to today’s action.

In January 2009, an FDA advisory committee voted 14 to 12 against the continued marketing of propoxyphene products. At that time, the committee called for additional information about the drug's cardiac effects.
 

For those patients being removed from Propoxyphene, you should be aware of the possible side effects of Opioid Withdrawl. In pure form, dextropropoxyphene is commonly used to ease the withdrawal symptoms in people addicted to opioids. Being very weak in comparison to the opioids that are commonly abused, dextropropoxyphene can only act as a "partial" substitute. It does not have much effect on mental cravings; however it can be effective in alleviating physical withdrawal effects, such as muscle cramps.

Some previously reported side effects of Propoxyphene include Urinary Hesitancy, Itching, Drowsiness, Sore Throat, Impaired Alertness, Confusion, and Serious or Fatal Heart Rhythms.

 

 

November 30, 2010

Food safety bill finally clears Senate

FoodSafety_wborder[1] After years of foodborne outbreaks, illnesses and deaths — and more than a year of delays — the Senate finally passed a food safety bill today by a vote of 73 to 25. The new law would set higher standards for food manufacturers, give the Food and Drug Administration more authority to order food recalls, and require more frequent inspections of food producers.

The legislation comes in the wake of a series of food-related outbreaks, which led to recalls of common foods such as eggs, cheese, lettuce, and peanut products. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that there are 325,000 hospitalizations and 5,000 deaths related to foodborne diseases each year.

“Senate passage of this critically needed legislation represents a major milestone for food safety reform and for greater consumer protection from food-borne illness," said Jean Halloran, Director of Food Policy Initiatives at Consumers Union—our publisher.

See the full article

November 24, 2010

Recall: Children's Benadryl and Junior Strength Motrin

Benadryl_wborder McNeil Consumer Healthcare  announced a voluntary recall of all product lots of Children’s Benadryl Allergy Fastmelt Tablets, in cherry and grape flavors, and all product lots of Junior Strength Motrin Caplets. This is a wholesale and retail-level recall, so consumers can continue to use the product. Learn more in the full Health blog post.


 

 

See the full article

November 11, 2010

Costco recalls Gorgonzola cheese tainted with E. coli

Costco yesterday recalled Gorgonzola cheese sold in Colorado stores that tested positive for E. coli bacteria. The Gorgonzola was sold under the brand name Mauri, with sell-by dates of 01/13/11 and 01/14/11. Consumers should return the cheese to Costco for a refund.The FDA recommedns that consumers who don't return the cheese should put it in a closed plastic bag and place in a sealed trash can to prevent people or animals from eating it.

E. coli infection often causes severe bloody diarrhea and abdominal cramps, though it can also cause nonbloody diarrhea or no symptoms at all. While most healthy adults typically recover within a week, certain people--particularly young children and the elderly--can develop a complication called hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) that can lead to serious kidney damage and even death. 

This is the second recall of cheese sold at Costco in a week. Last week an E. coli breakout was linked to Bravo Farms Dutch Style Gouda cheese sold at Costco. Visit Consumer Reports Safety Blog for updates on Salmonella and E. Coli outbreaks.

-- Chris Fichera

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November 8, 2010

Eggs sold in eight states recalled after Salmonella discovery

Cal-Maine Foods, Inc., the largest producer and distributor of eggs in the U.S., in cooperation with the FDA on Friday recalled 24,000 dozen(288,000) eggs that were sold in eight states - after eggs at an Ohio supplier for the company tested positive for Salmonella. The eggs were distributed to food wholesalers and retailers in Arkansas, California, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Texas.

The eggs were sold under the brand names Sunny Meadow, Springfield Grocer, Sun Valley, and James Farm. There have been no confirmed Salmonella cases related to the purchased eggs. Consumers can return the eggs to the store they were purchased at for a refund.

Salmonella can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Healthy persons infected with Salmonella often experience fever, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain.

FDA news release

--Chris Fichera

 

See the full article

November 1, 2010

Pfizer expands Lipitor recall by 38,000 bottles

Pfizer has announced that it plans to recall two more lots, or approximately 38,000 bottles, of Lipitor. According to the company, the recall is based on "two customer reports of an uncharacteristic odor related to the bottles in which these lots of Lipitor were packaged."

The new recall follows one last month, in which the company pulled 191,000 bottles of the statin, amid similar concerns. Pfizer says that the odor is "consistent with the presence of 2, 4, 6 tribromoanisole (TBA), which was found at a very low level in a complaint sample bottle during the investigation leading to the first product recall."

According to Pfizer, the risk of health consequences "appears to be minimal." Consumers can contact the company at 1-888-LIPITOR and can report any concerns to the Food and Drug Administration at FDA.gov

Pfizer Recall Info [PDF]

See the full article

November 1, 2010

Britax recalls 19,601 Chaperone infant car seats due to brittle chest clip

Britax Child Safety is recalling 19,601 Chaperone infant seats in the U.S. and Canada due to a defect with the product's chest clip. The chest clip’s purpose is to positions the chest straps across a child’s shoulders. Britax recalled the child seats after receiving 400 complaints of broken chest clips, and four reports of minor injuries. 

According to Britax:

The Chest Clip supplied with the Chaperone Infant Car Seat was incorrectly produced by the manufacturer which resulted in a more brittle chest clip than was intended. As a result, the chest clip which positions the harness straps across the infant’s shoulders may break when the chest clip is engaged as the infant is secured into the infant car seat. The sharp edges of the broken chest clip create a risk of a skin laceration and the fractured components of the chest clip may present a small parts/choking hazard.

If your chest clip breaks Consumer Reports recommends that you discontinue use of the seat until you receive the remedy kit. 

The recall includes the following models manufactured from April 2009 through May 2010:

E9L69N9 Moonstone 
E9L69P2 Red Mill 
E9L69P3 Savannah
E9L69P5 Cowmooflage

Britax is mailing consumer notices and remedy kits to registered consumers that include replacement clips and instructions. If your seat is not registered you will not receive a kit. You can register a Chaperone infant car seat on the Britax website. The safety campaign should begin around Nov. 11. Owners can also contact Britax at 1-888-427-4829 or NHTSA at 1-888-327-4236

For more information on car seats, see our Buying Guide and testing overview. Subscribers can view our car seat Ratings here

Britax Recall Notice
NHTSA Recall Notice 

See the full article

November 1, 2010

Recall round-up

For up-to-date recalls of consumer products, see our new home page at consumerreports.org
 
Some other important recalls not covered in last week’s Safety Blog postings:

See the full article

 

October 30, 2010

Just in time for Halloween: Ghosts that turn on appliances

Some of the spookiest complaints we’ve received in recent years are from readers whose appliances seem to turn themselves on.  It’s a sporadic phenomenon that seems to haunt a range of small appliances, including toasters, toaster ovens, microwaves and coffee makers, posing a serious fire and burn hazard in many cases. Other readers tell us their ghost won’t allow an appliance to turn off, even after the toast pops up or the timer goes off. Some readers have had to unplug the appliance to get it to shut down.

The “ghosts” have often turned out to be faulty electronics, especially with toaster ovens. The problem was cited in at least 10 toaster oven recalls issued between 2005 and 2009. Last week, 122,000 Frigidaire and Electrolux cooktops and ranges were recalled because they unexpectedly turned themselves on. In this case it was from liquid pooling under the control knob. We’ve also heard reports of a Magic Chef range that was inadvertently turned on and off by the wireless signals from a nearby cell phone.

Whether or not you believe in ghosts, we recommend taking the precaution of unplugging toaster ovens and other heating appliances when not in use. That’s not practical for large appliances like ranges, ovens and washing machines (yes, we’ve heard horror stories about those, too). Ultimately, eliminating these phantom switches will require a larger effort to identify problem products and, if needed, strengthen quality and safety standards. To do that, consumers should report the problem whenever it happens.

Do you have a ghost in your appliance? If so, we want to hear from you! Report your problem product and help Consumer Reports keep you safe. Don’t forget to include the model name and number, brand, when you bought it, and a detailed description of the problem. It’s also important to share this information with CPSC and the manufacturer.  

For more on haunted houses and appliances, see our Home & Garden Blog.

--Carolyn Cairns

See the full article

October 29, 2010

Taking the scare out of Halloween

UPDATE:  Aside from the candy recalls cited below, beware that the CPSC has also announced the recall  of 682,000 Halloween-themed lanterens sold by Dollar Tree Stores.  The CPSC has also announced tips on how to prevent costume and Haloween decoration-related injuries.

The ghosts and goblins roaming the streets on Halloween night aren’t the only things that are scary—so are the accident statistics. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that the number of deaths among child pedestrians (ages 5 to 14) is four times as many on Halloween evening than any other evening of the year. Aside from keeping kids safe on the streets, there are other safety precautions that you can take to make Halloween a fun-filled fright night:

Costumes: Buy costumes that are labeled “flame resistant” and avoid baggy, billowing skirts and cloaks that might brush against a candle-lit jack-o-lantern or luminary. Make sure your kids won’t trip over their costumes and avoid accessories like swords and canes that might have shape edges. And don’t allow your children to wear masks that might block their vision. 

Makeup: Be cautious when using makeup for face paint. Much of it is not FDA-approved and could trigger allergic reactions. And never use decorative contact lenses; they can result is severe eye infections. Read the FDA's " 'Lucky 13' Tips for a Safe Halloween."

Roadside safety: Use of flashlights, glow sticks, and reflective tape will make your child visible to drivers at night. Reinforce the rules of the road, such as crossing streets only at corners and remind children not to run out from between parked cars.

Safety at home: Clear all obstacles from the path to your front door and make sure it’s well-lit. If using plug-in decorations, make sure they are safety listed by UL, ETL, or CSA. Electric, battery-operated candles are much safer than ones with real flames. Set the rules: make sure all trick-or-treaters stay together with friends—and adults, if they are under 12. Have older children carry a cell phone and have them check in regularly to let you know where they are. Remind them never to enter someone’s house. And don’t let them eat any candy until you’ve had time to thoroughly inspect it. And be aware of some recent recalls of Nestle Raisinets and Mega Pops lollipops.

—Don Mays

 

 

See the full article

October 22, 2010

Food safety alert: Celery recalled after four people die

Celery_wborder

SanGar Produce & Processing Co. of San Antonio, TX is recalling celery due to possible listeria contamination. The Texas Department of State Health Services traced 6 of 10 cases of listeriosis in the state to celery processed at a SanGar plant; at least four victims of the food poisoning died.  

The recall involves cut fresh produce in sealed packages distributed to schools, restaurants, hospitals and other institutions, but it’s not thought to be at supermarkets. It is not currently known how much contaminated celery was processed or how widely it was distributed. It’s also not known if the contamination has spread to other produce handled at the plant. The Food and Drug Administration is investigating and considering expanding the recall. 

SanGar processed celery grown in California, but there was apparently no problem with it until it got to the SanGar plant in Texas. SanGar contested the results and initially refused to shut down its facility. That’s when the Texas health department shuttered the plant and ordered the recall. Texas health inspectors found sanitation problems in the SanGar plant including a condensation leak over the food-production area. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 500 people die of listeriosis each year in the U.S., and another 2,500 become seriously ill. Listeriosis causes flu-like symptoms including fever, muscle aches, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. More severe symptoms include headache, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance, or convulsions. Symptoms typically occur 3 to 70 days after exposure.  The elderly, young children, pregnant women, and those with weak immune symptoms are particularly at risk. 

We are alerting schools to the sickening celery through our School Safety Alert Program. You may want to advise children not to eat celery in their school cafeteria until the extent of this food poisoning is more clearly identified, and you might want to skip it in restaurants too.  Although SanGar cliams that their produce is distributed only on Texas, there are some reports that the listeriosis may be more widespread. Watch this blog for future updates and analysis.  

 

—Don Mays

See the full article

October 20, 2010

Graco recalls 2 million strollers after four infants strangle. Largest stroller recall in history

Graco Stroller Recall
Graco Quattro Stroller

The strangulation deaths of four infants led the Consumer Product Safety Commission to announce a recall today of about 2 million Graco strollers.

We're stunned that Graco took so long. The deaths occurred more than five years ago, between 2003 and 2005, according to the CPSC. The agency is also aware of five reports of infants who were trapped, but not killed, and suffered cuts, bruising, and near strangulation.

CPSC spokesman Scott Wolfson told us that agency staff uncovered a pattern of incidents with the Graco strollers when they were reevaluating stroller injuries. The discovery wound up prompting today's record recall.

Graco has a bad track record of letting incidents mount before it recalls hazardous products. In March, 1.2 million Graco Harmony high chairs were recalled after the company received 464 reports of hardware defects that could cause the high chair to tip over unexpectedly; there were 24 reports of injuries. In January, Graco recalled 1.5 million of its Passage, Alano, and Spree strollers and travel systems after five kids had their fingertips amputated in the canopy hinge; two more suffered lacerations. And in 2005, the CPSC nailed Graco with a record $4 million civil penalty for failing to inform the government in a timely matter about more than 12 million products that posed a danger to young children.

Affected models
Today's recall involves the Graco Quattro Tour and the MetroLite strollers and travel systems (strollers that include a removable car seat/carrier). The Quattro Tour strollers and travel systems were manufactured prior to November 2006. The MetroLite strollers and travel systems were manufacturerd prior to  July 2007. Consumers who own a Graco Quatro or MetroLite stroller should check the recall notice  to see if their model is affected. If so, the CPSC advises that consumers stop using the stroller immediately and contact the company for a free repair kit. Call Graco at 877-828-4046 or visit the Graco's website at www.gracobaby.com.

The current and safer version of the Graco Quattro Tour Sport is our top rated traditional stroller and the Graco MetroLite is rated a Best Buy. Our full Ratings and report on strollers appears in the subscriber section of ConsumerReports.org.

Stricter standards mean safer strollers
The hazard with the recalled Graco Quatro and MetroLite strollers was addressed by recent changes to the ASTM-International safety standard on strollers, which became effective in January 2008, after the recalled Graco strollers were made. Compliance with the ASTM standard is voluntary; virtually all manufactures follow it and most big retailers insist on it.

But our most recent tests of strollers uncovered some newer models that didn't comply with the standard; they had the same hazard as the Graco strollers recalled today. We brought the issue to the attention of the CPSC last April and the Valco Baby and Tike Tech jogging strollers were recalled on October 6 before there were reports of any injuries.

Those models, like today's recalled Graco ones, have a risk of entrapment and strangulation, which can occur when infants are left unharnessed in the strollers. If an infant's body slides down under the stroller's tray, his or her head can get stuck between the tray and the seat bottom. Infants who become entrapped at the neck are at serious risk of strangulation. (Watch our video, right, for a demonstration of the hazard.)

It's wrong that hazardous products like the Graco strollers recalled today remain on the market and in consumers' homes well after serious hazards are uncovered. Strollers, like any other juvenile product, are often passed down from one child—and even one generation—to the next. Relying on manufacturers to promptly recall dangerous products makes it way too easy for children to be endangered for a long time to come. Unless manufactures like Graco start ramping up their safety programs, we have to rely on recalls to keep us out of harm's way. It is, at best, an imperfect response, and at worst, a deadly one.

—Don Mays

See the full article

October 19, 2010

Something smells here: More Tylenol recalled, and Lipitor too

Tylenol_Recall Johnson and Johnson’s McNeil Consumer Healthcare has announced yet another recall of a Tylenol-branded product. This time it is recalling Tylenol 8 Hour caplets in 50 count bottles. One lot is affected and is identified as “Lot # BCM155.” The company received complaints about odors from their bottles, similar to complaints about previously recalled Tylenol products

Pfizer also recalled 191,000 bottles of Lipitor, the statin drug for lowering cholesterol. Their recall affects five lots (0855020, 0819020, 0842020, 0843020, and 0854020) of 40-milligram tablets packaged in 90-count bottles.  All have an expiration date of 01/13.  

In both cases, the odor was identified as 2,4,6 tribromoanisole, which is thought to come from a fungicide used in shipping packages or pallets. McNeil describes the odor as musty or moldy, but Pfizer simply states that it’s an “uncharacteristic odor.” Both companies say that the odor is unlikely to cause adverse health affects, although there have been complaints of nausea, vomiting, stomach pains and diarrhea with recalled Tylenol products.

Pfizer recommends that patients continue to take Lipitor as prescribed by their doctor, but return the tablets to their pharmacist if they experience an uncharacteristic odor. Pfizer can be contacted about Lipitor by calling 1-888-LIPITOR. McNeil recommends that consumers stop taking the recalled Tylenol and contact the company at their website or 1-888-222-6036 to receive a refund or product coupon.  

Our Take:  This contaminated packaging is likely to expand beyond Tylenol and Lipitor. Until all sources of the odor are identified, we recommend you sniff each bottle of medication you open and report any musty or moldy odors to the manufacturer of the products as well as to the FDA.

—Don Mays 

See the full article

October 18, 2010

Recall redux: Spa Factory aromatherapy kits for kids can explode

SpaFactory_replacement The Consumer Product Safety Commission has reannounced the recall of 516,000 Spa Factory™ Aromatherapy Kits after injuries continued to mount. Consumers should immediately take the toy’s jars and caps away from children and dispose of any jar lids without vent holes. Only use jars that have lids with vent holes.

As we told you here, these aromatherapy kits were originally recalled in January 2009 after the CPSC received 88 reports of exploding jars that included 13 injuries to children. Since that time, there have been 12 additional reports of exploding unvented jars and another 13 injuries. The new injuries include irritated eyes and skin and one eye injury from projectile jar lids.

Pressure from the buildup of carbon dioxide in the jars that come with the kits can cause the unvented lids to blow off, posing explosion and projectile hazards. The flying pieces also can cause property damage. Additionally, the mixture of water with the Bath Bombs/Balls or Bath Fizzies can create citric acid. This acid can get into consumers’ eyes when the jars explode, posing a risk of eye irritation.

The kits were sold at Sam’s Club, Walmart, Target and other stores nationwide from August 2008 through August 2010 and continue to be available in some stores. Consumers should immediately take the toy’s jars and caps without vent holes away from children, dispose of any jar lids without vent holes and contact JAKKS Pacific to receive free jar lids with vent holes. Contact JAKKS toll-free at (877) 875-2557 between 7:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. PT Monday through Friday, visit the firm’s website or email at caps@jakks.net. 

See the full article

October 16, 2010

Recall round-up

Chevrolet Impala Recalls not included in this week’s Safety Blog posts:

See the full article

October 16, 2010

Safety Snippets

SafetyZone This week’s roundup of the top safety news stories that could be important to you:
  • From our Home & Garden Blog: Lower mercury CFLs to be produced.
  • From our Home & Garden Blog:  Maker of contaminated Chinese drywall to start paying for repairs

 

See the full article

October 15, 2010

CR’s testing prompts recall of Evenflo Maestro car seats

CarSeat Today, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced that Evenflo is conducting a voluntary recall of 13,792 Evenflo Maestro Combination Booster Seats in the United States.  Another 4,479 units are being recalled in Canada. The recall includes Evenflo Maestro model numbers beginning with 310 that were manufactured through April of this year. 

The recall was issued after Consumer Reports’ tests showed that the seat can crack and the harness can loosen in simulated 30-mph frontal crashes, which could leave a child inadequately restrained.  Failures occurred when the seat was tested in its five-point harness mode, though no problems were found when the seat was used as a booster-seat. Consumer Reports shared its test results with Evenflo, who worked with NHTSA to initiate the recall.  

Evenflo issued a press release announcing the recall this morning. The company advises owners of affected seats to contact Evenflo for a free reinforcement kit by calling 800-233-5921 in the U.S. or 800-265-0749 in Canada. Their website includes a video showing owners how to install the kit.

For more information or to see a video of our crash test results on the Evenflo Maestro, see our Babies & Kids Blog.      

 

See the full article

October 14, 2010

Recalled: Ryobi cordless drills

Ryobi drill Today Ryobi recalled 455,000 of its model HP 1802M cordless drill because the switches can overheat.

Sold at Home Depot from January 2001 to July 2003 for $100, the HP 1802M is powered by an 18 volt rechargeable NiCad battery. The drills are blue and black with "Ryobi" appearing in red and white on the left side. The model number can be found on a white label on the right side of the drill. 

Read all about it over at our Home and Garden Blog.

 

See the full article

October 8, 2010

Recall round-up

AlfalfaSprouts Recalls not included in this week’s blogs:

See the full article

October 8, 2010

More shades recalled due to strangulation hazard

RomanShade About 200,000 Roman shades joined the recall of all Roman shades and roll-up blinds that began in December of last year because their design poses a strangulation risk to children. Strangulation could occur if a child were to place his or her neck between the shade and the exposed inner cord, or pulls the cord out altogether and wraps it around his or her neck. The Consumer Product Safety Commission reported the recall. The CPSC recommends consumers use cordless window coverings in homes where children live or visit. No injuries were reported in connection to this specific batch of recalled shades. 

The manufacturer, Green Mountain Vista, voluntarily added its name to the list of other companies that have been recalling window shades and blinds because of the same strangulation hazard. The shades were sold for $40 to $120 at specialty stores and mail order companies nationwide from September 2004 through August 2010. 

Consumers with a shade labeled RN#107875 should contact the Window Covering Safety Council (WCSC) for a free repair kit at (800) 506-4636, or visit www.windowcoverings.org. For more information contact Green Mountain Vista at (800) 639-1728 or visit www.gmvista.com

Read more: Consumer Reports on blinds and shades recalled after deaths and Consumers Union's involvement with an international call for safe window coverings.

See the full article

October 7, 2010

More drop-side cribs recalled

CribRecall Adding to the list of millions of drop-side cribs already pulled from the market, Alexander Designs Ltd is recalling 11,400 drop-side cribs sold at J.C. Penney. 

The crib’s hardware can break or fail, leading to a suffocation, strangulation, and fall hazard. The cribs were sold from March 2003 through April 2007.

CPSC has received two reports of incidents involving drop-side malfunctions on Alexander Designs drop-side cribs. In one incident, which involved a crib that had been misassembled, the plastic hardware broke and the drop-side rail fell unexpectedly. In a second incident, a hardware failure caused the drop-side rail to detach from the crib. No injuries were reported.

Stop using the crib immediately and contact the manufacturer, Jardine, at (800) 295-1980 or on their website for a free repair kit that will immobilize the drop side rail.

This is the second crib recall in five months from Jardine. In June the company recalled 130,000 drop-side cribs sold at Kids R Us stores. 

Read our crib buying guide and check out our crib Ratings (for subscribers).

See the full article

October 7, 2010

Consumer Reports testing prompts stroller recalls

Stroller_recall The Consumer Product Safety Commission just announced the recalls of two jogging strollers for hazards that Consumers Union, publisher of Consumer Reports, brought to their attention earlier this year. Our testing uncovered safety hazards with these strollers and we rated them a “Don’t Buy: Safety Risk”.  In total, there are 12,800 strollers being recalled for risk of strangulation. 

About 12,000 Valco Baby Tri Mode Single and Twin Jogging Strollers are being recalled because the opening between the grab bar and seat bottom of the stroller can allow an infant’s body to pass through and become entrapped at the neck by the grab bar, posing a strangulation hazard to a young child  who is not harnessed. “Valco Baby” is printed on the head rest and the padding on the footboard. The grab bar is optional and can be removed from the stroller. The stroller’s model numbers are located on a white sticker on the left hand side of brake bar. The Valco Baby strollers were sold at juvenile product stores and websites including Amazon.com between November 2007 and March 2010 for between $480 to $700. Consumers should immediately remove the grab bar from the stroller and contact Valco Baby at (800) 610-7850, www.valcobaby.com or email at recall@valcobaby.com to receive a free replacement grab bar.

Some 800 Tike Tech Single City X3 and X3 Sport Jogging Strollers are also being recalled  for the same grab-bar hazard as the Valco Baby strollers. “Tike Tech” is printed on the footrest and on the back of the stroller on the left and right sides. The ID codes are located on the interior left side frame. The Tike Tech strollers were sold at juvenile product stores nationwide and websites including www.amazon.com from October 2009 through February 2010 for about $300. Consumers should immediately remove the grab bar from the stroller and contact Tike Tech Tech at (800) 296-4602, at www.tiketech.com or email the firm at recall@tiketech.com to receive a free replacement grab bar. 

To learn more about the importance of stroller safety, download (PDF) CPSC’s safety alert. See our stroller buying advice and Ratings (for subscribers).

See the full article

October 5, 2010

Lights out: 124,000 CFLs recalled

Lightbulb_recall Eastern American Trio Products is recalling 124,000 compact fluorescent light bulbs because they can overheat and catch fire. The company has four reports of incidents, including two fires.

The bulbs were sold in discount stores in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Connecticut from January 2008 to December 2008. One CFL can pretty much look like another, so carefully check the label on the base for “Trisonic” and the model numbers TS-EN 15W/SP, TS-EN 20W/SP, TS-CFL 22WB or TS-EN 25W/SP.

Immediately stop using the bulb and contact the company for a refund. Don’t just throw CFLs in the garbage; they contain small amounts of mercury, a neurotoxin, so some states and municipalities don’t allow them in the trash. And if a CFL breaks, it should be cleaned up carefully

You can read buying advice and Consumer Reports Ratings of CFLs (for subscribers) here.  

See the full article

October 2, 2010

Safety Snippets

Safety Alerts Consumer Reports

This week’s roundup of the top 10 safety news stories that could be important to you:

  • From our Cars Blog: CR’s auto test team reports on 2010 Distracted Driving Summit. Links to the following subjects:

Recalls not included in this week's blogs:

See the full article

September 30, 2010

Fisher Price recalls more than 11 million products

Fisher Price seems to be doing all its housekeeping in one day. As well as the million-plus high chairs pulled from the market, the Consumer Product Safety Commission and Health Canada announced today that the company is recalling more than 7.2 million trikes, almost 3 million infant toys with inflatable balls, and 100,000 Little People Wheelies.

FisherPrice_TrikeThe trikes are a hazard because the pretend key that sticks up can cause serious injury if a child falls on it. The company has 10 reports of injuries, including six that required medical attention.

The infant activity centers have valves on the inflatable balls that can come off. Fisher-Price knows of 46 valves that have come off, 14 were found in children’s mouths, and three reports of a child beginning to choke. And the green and purple cars from the Fisher Price Little People Wheelies Stand ‘n Play Rampway have wheels that can come off. No injuries have been reported.

FisherPrice_infantToysDetails about all the recalls, including model numbers, can be found in the linked CPSC press releases. In all cases, take the product away from your child and contact Fisher Price at (800) 432-5437 or its website for a free replacement.

 

See the full article

September 30, 2010

Fisher-Price recalls 950,000 high chairs

ClosetoMe_HighChair Fisher-Price is recalling 950,000 high chairs (an additional 125,000 are being recalled in Canada). Children can fall on or against the pegs on the rear legs of the high chair resulting in injuries or lacerations. The pegs are used for high chair tray storage. There are reports of 14 incidents, including seven reports of children requiring stitches and one tooth injury.

This recall involves the Healthy Care, Easy Clean and Close to Me High Chairs with pegs on the back legs intended for tray storage. The high chairs have a folding frame for storage and a three-position reclining seat. The model number and date code of the high chair is on the back of the seat. All Easy Clean and Close To Me High Chairs are included in this recall. Only Healthy Care High Chairs manufactured before December 2006 are included in the recall. If the fourth digit in the date code is 6 or less, the Healthy Care High Chair is included in the recall. The high chairs were sold at sold at mass merchandise retail stores nationwide from September 2001 through September 2010 for between about $70 and $115.  

If you have one of these high chairs, stop using it immediately and contact Fisher-Price at (800) 432-5437 for instructions and a free repair kit.

See the full article

September 24, 2010

Home, charred home; night lights recalled

Nightlights_recall Two versions of electroluminescent night lights are being recalled by Molenaar LLC of Minnesota because they can get hot and melt. They were given away free as promotional products from October 2001 through November 2009 and may be imprinted with a company name.

The firm is aware of four incidents of the plug-in lights melting; no injuries have been reported. The lights glow green when plugged in, and have 71980 U.S.A. molded into the back panel. One is shaped like a house; the other is square with a rounded top.

If you have one of these, throw it away. For more information, you can call Molenaar at (877) 719-4442 or go to www.miline.com.

See the full article

September 23, 2010

Beetlejuice on baby’s menu? Certain Similac powders recalled

Similac_recall Abbott is recalling certain packages of Similac powder infant formula because they “did not meet its quality standards.” Translation: the company “detected the remote possibility of the presence of a small common beetle in the product” in one of its facilities.

The recall notice says the Food and Drug Administration “has determined that while the formula containing these beetles poses no immediate health risk, there is a possibility that infants who consume formula containing the beetles or their larvae, could experience symptoms of gastrointestinal discomfort and refusal to eat as a result of small insect parts irritating the GI tract. If these symptoms persist for more than a few days, a physician should be consulted.”

Included are certain Similac products in plastic containers and in a variety of sizes of cans. No liquid products have been recalled. To determine whether a particular product is affected, plug the lot number into the company’s finder or call the consumer line at (800) 986-8850. The website and hotline also have instructions on how to return recalled cans to the company for a refund.

Update: If you are having trouble getting to the list of recalled formula on Similac's site, you can access a PDF on The Consumerist.

See the full article

September 21, 2010

What color is “toxic”? Mood jewelry recalled for lead

MoodJewelry D&D Distributing-Wholesale, a Washington State company, is recalling 19,000 Love Tester/Are You in the Mood? mood rings and 4,000 necklaces for high levels of lead. The jewelry was made in China and sold in small stores from September 2005 through June 2010.

Lead can be toxic to young children if ingested, and can cause a range of health problems. Take the jewelry away from children immediately and return it to the store where it was purchased for a refund or replacement. You can also contact the company at (800) 262-9435 or www.dddist.com. There have been no injuries reported.

See the full article

September 21, 2010

People with glass vases should . . . know about this recall


 

Vase_recall Gerson Company, a Kansas firm, is recalling more than 200,000 glass vases sold at Michaels stores in the U.S. and Canada because they can break or fracture.

It seems a bit odd, since any glass vase can break or shatter, but these appear to be especially problematic; the firm has received nine reports of the vases shattering, all of which resulted in lacerations.

Michaels sold the 20 inch square vases from July 2006 through March 2010 for about $15. Instructions for obtaining a refund can be found on Gerson’s website. You don’t need to return the vase; just dispose of it safely. (But unless you have a receipt, don’t dump it before taking a photo to send as proof of purchase.)

See the full article

September 18, 2010

Safety snippets and recall roundup

Safety Alerts Consumer Reports

This week’s roundup of the top 10 safety news stories that could be important to you:

Recalls not included in this week’s blogs:

See the full article

September 16, 2010

Burlington Coat Factory issues yet another recall for drawstrings

Children_hoodie Today, the Consumer Product Safety Commission announced yet another recall for hooded jackets and sweatshirts sold by Burlington Coat Factory . Drawstrings on children’s outerwear, particularly through the hood or waist, can pose a strangulation, entrapment, or vehicular-dragging hazard.
 

This is the 24th recall since May 2009 for garments sold by Burlington Coat Factory for the same hazard.  In total, about 154,000 garments have been recalled. But most of these recalls were not for products sold recently. This may be a matter of doing some late housecleaning and paying for past sins.

Read more and comment
 

 

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September 11, 2010

Safety snippets and recall round-up

SafetyZoneThis week’s roundup of the top 10 safety news stories and recall announcements that could be important to you:
 

Recalls not included in this week’s blogs:
 



 

See the full article

September 10, 2010

Sand-and-water play station recalled by Step2

TransportationStation_recall Step2 Company is recalling 56,000 Sand and Water Transportation Station toys because the wheels can come off the train and pose a choking hazard to young children. (An additional 7,700 are being recalled in Canada.)
 
The round plastic table has sections for sand and water, and comes with blue, red, and yellow plastic trains. It was sold at Target and other retailers and online from December 2008 through June 2010. No injuries have been reported.
 
Take the trains away from children immediately and contact Step2 at (800) 347-8372 or at www.step2.com for free replacement cars. (Children can continue to play with the rest of the set.)

See the full article

September 9, 2010

Jo-Ann Fabric stores recalls roll-up blinds due to strangulation risk

Blinds_recall
Joining a host of other manufactures and retailers that have recalled Roman shades and roll-up blinds, Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores have added their name to the list. There have been tens of millions of shades and blinds recently recalled because their cords can pose a strangulation risk to young children.

Read more and comment

 

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September 9, 2010

Flying disks prompt recall of Black & Decker orbital sanders

Sander_Recall
Black & Decker is recalling some 192,000 random orbit sanders after receiving 73 reports of the sander’s disk breaking or falling apart. There were 15 reports of injuries from flying pieces, one of which involved a serious facial laceration.
 

Read more and comment

 

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September 9, 2010

Not a bright design: Fixit rechargeable spotlights recalled

Spotlight
Innovage LLC is recalling 1.4 million one-million candlepower rechargeable halogen spotlights because the charging adapter can overcharge the battery, which can cause it to rupture and leak battery acid.
 
The company has received 13 reports of minor chemical burns to skin and acid burns in clothing, upholstery, and carpeting.
 

Read more and comment

 

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September 7, 2010

Hartz dog treats recalled for possible salmonella contamination

Hartz_DogTreats

Hartz is recalling 74,700 bags of Hartz Naturals Real Beef Treats for Dogs because they may be contaminated with salmonella. The 8-ounce bags have lot code BZ0969101E, UPC number 32700-11519. They were imported from a Brazilian supplier. The company has received no reports of animals or humans becoming sick.

Don’t feed these treats to your dog. The company's recall notice says to dispose of the product in a proper manner, which we presume means in a way that pets can’t get to them. You can contact Hartz at 800.275.1414 for information on how to get a refund.
 

See the full article

September 4, 2010

Safety snippets and recall round-up

SafetyZone This week’s roundup of the top 10 safety news stories and recall announcements that could be important to you: 

 

 

Recall round-up:

 

 

See the full article

September 3, 2010

Back-to-school: Have your school sign up for Safety Alerts

ClickCheckProtect_logo Far too often, recalls and safety alerts don’t reach the consumers that need them the most. There’s typically only a 10 to 30 percent consumer response rate to recalls. That puts a lot of consumers who may never have received the information in harm’s way. Children are particularly vulnerable to risk of injury, illness, or death from unsafe foods and products. Busy parents are bombarded with information and often don’t hear about vital safety issues and recalls. So Consumers Union  set out to find a way to get safety into the homes of parents with school-age children.  

 

We’ve created a unique coalition of government agencies, parent organizations, and school administrators to disseminate recalls and safety alert information to parents and caregivers. The National School Safety Coalition, currently comprised of 21 members, puts the word out through www.clickcheckandprotect.org.

Read more and comment
 

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September 2, 2010

Good night! Morningland recalls 68,957 pounds of raw milk cheese

Cheese_recalls Morningland Dairy of Mountain View, Missouri, is recalling 68,957 pounds of cheese because it may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes and has the potential to be contaminated with Staphylococcus aureus.

See the full article

September 2, 2010

Toshiba recalls 41,000 T series laptops

Laptops If you just sent your kid off to college with a new laptop, be aware that computer maker Toshiba is recalling 41,000 Satellite T135, Satellite T135D and Satellite ProT130 Notebook Computers because they can overheat at the plug-in adapter and burn. The Irvine, Calif. company has received 129 reports of the computers overheating and deforming the plastic casing. 

See the full article

September 1, 2010

Sensio slow cookers, sold at Kohl’s, recalled for fire hazard

Cooker_recall The Consumer Product Safety Commission and Sensio Inc. have announced a recall of 25,000 Sensio slow cookers. The CPSC disclosed that there have been 60 reports of control panels smoking, melting, and sparking, and 3 reports of the panels catching fire. That’s particularly hazardous since slow cookers are often left unattended.
 

The recall involves the Bella Kitchen model WJ-5000DE 5-quart programmable slow cooker with date codes 0907 or 0909.  They were sold exclusively at Kohl’s Department Stores from July through December 2009.

Read more and comment

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August 31, 2010

Sharp TVs recalled for tip-over risk

Sharp-LCD-TV-Recall
Serial numbers for the Sharp TVs affected by this recall can be found on the back of the sets.
Photo: CPSC.gov

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (www.cpsc.gov) and Sharp Electronics Corp. have announced a recall of about 9,000 Sharp 32-inch LCD TVs. The neck of the stand holding the screen can break causing the TV to tip over, posing a risk of injury to the consumer.

Read more and comment

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August 27, 2010

Magnetic maze boards recalled

MagneticMaze_Recall Lakeshore Learning Materials, a California company, is recalling 18,500 magnetic picture boards. The plastic wand can separate and expose a magnet that can be a choking hazard to children. And if a child swallows two magnets (the boards were sold individually and in sets), there’s a risk of perforated intestines or blockages.

Read more and comment

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August 25, 2010

Off the wall: TV mounts recalled

WallMounts_Recall Milestone AV Technologies is recalling 131,000 wall mounts for flat screen TVs because the components don’t fit together properly and the TV could come tumbling down. The Sanus Vision Mount model LF228-B1 wall mounts and Simplicity model SLF2 were sold from June 2009 through July 2010, the former through independent dealers and the latter through Costco.

The model numbers can be found on the UL sticker on the wall plate. 

Read more and comment

 

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August 25, 2010

Fast Facts: CPSC recalls

FastFacts_FINAL Here are the total number of recalls handled by the Consumer Product Safety Commission over each of their past three fiscal years:

2007: 473

2008: 563

2009: 465

See the full article

August 24, 2010

Williams-Sonoma recalls bottle warmers and offers bounty for their return

BottleWarmer_recall The Consumer Product Safety Commission  announced a recall today of 11,000 bottle warmers sold by Williams-Sonoma of San Francisco. The Beaba Express Steam Bottle Warmers can overheat baby food, creating a burn hazard for babies and adults.

The units, which were made in China, were sold at Williams-Sonoma stores and through the company's website and catalogs in June and July of this year. They’re green with an orange temperature dial. "Beaba" is printed on the base and model number 9602 is printed on the underside of the warmer.

Read more and comment

 

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August 24, 2010

Walmart sandwiches are recalled

HamSandwichZemco Industries of Buffalo, NY is recalling some 380,000 pounds of deli meat that may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes. The meat was made into sandwiches sold exclusively at Walmart under the “Marketside Grab and Go” label.

The USDA says, “Listeriosis can cause high fever, severe headache, neck stiffness and nausea. Listeriosis can also cause miscarriages and stillbirths, as well as serious and sometimes fatal infections in those with weakened immune systems, such as infants, the elderly and persons with HIV infection or undergoing chemotherapy.”

See the full article

August 21, 2010

Safety snippets and recall roundup

SafetyZone This week’s roundup of the top 10 safety news stories and recall announcements that could be important to you:

 

  • From our Health Blog:  No skin cancer protection by getting base tan.
  • Government finds little health risk with formaldehyde in clothing.
  • Acetaminophen (Tylenol) linked to health affect in teens. 
  •   Recall Roundup
     

     

    • Mazda 3 and 5, Nissan Armada and Frontier, and BMW 1 Series get recalled
    • Frozen mamey pulp (whatever that is) gets recalled due to possible salmonella contamination. 
    • Zooper Tango Double stroller recalled for collapse hazard.  
  • See the full article

    August 19, 2010

    Nationwide recall: These eggs can make you sick!

    Eggggs
    Egg producer Wright County Egg of Galt, Iowa is expanding its voluntary recall of specific Julian dates of shell eggs produced by their farms because they have the potential to be contaminated with salmonella. An estimated 380 million eggs are affected. Hundreds of people have already been sickened in four states; no deaths have been reported.

     

    The largest distributor of shell eggs in the Western U.S., NuCal Foods, also said it was recalling Wright County eggs packaged in five-dozen groupings.

    Read more and comment
     

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    August 18, 2010

    Consumer organizations want action against Enterprise for renting recalled cars

    Car-rental-agency-keys

    Last week, two consumer groups, the Consumers for Auto Reliability and Safety (CARS) and Center for Auto Safety (a non-profit advocacy organization co-founded 40 years ago by Consumers Union), filed a petition with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to order Enterprise Rent-A-Car to fix all recalled vehicles on their lot before they rent them out to customers. This comes three months after Enterprise admitted liability in a California case that they rented out a recalled Chrysler PT Cruiser that caught on fire and crashed killing two young women. The family of the sisters was awarded  $15 million.
     

    Read more and comment

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    August 18, 2010

    Holy guacamole! Salsa and guacamole major causes of foodborne illness

    SalsaLetting the chips fall where they may might not be such a good idea if where they fall is in restaurant-made salsa or guacamole.

    Nearly one out of every 25 restaurant-associated foodborne illness outbreaks with an identified food source was traced back to contaminated salsa or guacamole, according to research by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The study covered the period from 1998 through 2008.

    Read more and comment

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    August 17, 2010

    Texas Hold 'Ems and Beef Filet Squares dog treats recalled

    DogTreats_recall Here’s one royal flush you’ll want to avoid: Merrick Pet Care has expanded its August 3rd recall of 10 oz. bags of Texas Hold ‘Ems and Beef Filet Squares treats for dogs because they may be contaminated with salmonella. All bags, which were shipped nationwide, are now being recalled.

    The Texas manufacturer says that no illnesses have been reported, and that “pets with Salmonella infections may be lethargic and have diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, fever, and vomiting. Some pets will have only decreased appetite, fever and abdominal pain. Infected but otherwise healthy pets can be carriers and infect other animals or humans. If your pet has consumed the recalled product and has these symptoms, please contact your veterinarian immediately.”

    Read more and comment

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    August 17, 2010

    Eggs recalled for possible salmonella contamination

    Eggs Wright County Egg, an Iowa producer, is recalling cartons of 6, 12, and 18 eggs for possible salmonella contamination. The eggs were sold nationwide under the brand names Lucerne, Albertson, Mountain Dairy, Ralph’s, Boomsma’s, Sunshine, Hillandale, Trafficanda, Farm Fresh, Shoreland, Lund, Dutch Farms and Kemps. 

    The eggs are labeled with Julian dates ranging from 136 to 225 and plant numbers 1026, 1413 and 1946. Dates and codes can be found stamped on the end of the egg carton. The plant number begins with the letter P and then the number. The Julian date follows the plant number, for example: P-1946 223.

    Read more and comment

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    August 16, 2010

    Got this Rocketship PalPODzzz night light from Sylvania? Get rid of it!

    GIGROI_SylvaniaNightLight You may barely have noticed that days are just a bit shorter than last week and the week before that, but now it hits you that you are indeed turning the lights on a bit earlier. Just be sure that one of them isn’t this rocketship portable night light, which was recalled last December for shock hazard. 

     

    The LED Rocketship PalPODzzz portable night lights are from Osram Sylvania. It can also be used as an emergency light or a flashlight. It’s shaped as a rocket ship and sits in a plastic recharging base that plugs into the wall. The model number 72174 and date codes “0808” or “0908” are printed on the label attached to the bottom cover of the recharging base. They were sold at Home Depot, Stop & Shop, and other stores, and online at  Amazon.com and other retailers from October 2008 through November 2009.

    Before the recall, the firm had received three reports of the bottom of the recharging base breaking and consumers touching internal electrical components that resulted in minor electric shocks. If you still have one of these, stop using it. Don’t take it back to the store. Instead, contact Osram Sylvania at 877-423-3772 or visit the firm’s web site at www.sylvania.com.

    See the full article

    August 14, 2010

    Safety snippets and recall roundup

    SafetyZone

    This week’s roundup of the top 10 safety news stories that could be important to you:

    • From our Cars Blog: Toyota owners didn’t hit the brakes in many SUA accidents.
    • Apple agrees to replace some overheating iPods, but only in Japan. What about the U.S.?
    • Tattoos may increase risk of Hepatitis C infections
    • Lithium button cell batteries pose unexpected risk to children

    Recall Roundup:

     

    • Honda recalls Accord, Civic, Element.  Mercedes recalls G-Class.
    • LG and CPSC make second recall announcement for Goldstar and Comfort-Aire dehumidifiers. Are owners paying attention? 

    See the full article

    August 12, 2010

    Consumers Union testifies at CPSC

    CPSC_Logo
    Consumers Union and two other safety watchdog groups presented to the Consumer Product Safety Commission their recommendations for the agency’s work in its 2012 fiscal year.

    Policy Counsel for Consumers Union, Ami Gadhia, representing CU, Kids In Danger, and the Consumer Federation of America, commented on the agency’s proposed 2012 agenda and priorities during testimony on Wednesday (Download Testimony on CPSC priorities (PDF).

    Gadhia presented a wide range of issues and concerns including:

    Sleep environment safety. While supporting CPSC efforts to reduce injuries to children caused by nursery products such as cribs, play yards, and bassinets, the groups urged the agency to extend their safe-sleep efforts to other products, including crib tents, sleep positioners, and infant comforters and pillows.

    See the full article

     

     

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