Takata Corp. Agrees to Expand Airbag Recall

Takata Corp. Agrees to Expand Airbag Recall
Takata Corp. Agrees to Expand Airbag Recall

After refusing to declare its airbags defective for the past year and racking up $1.2 million in fines, Takata Corp. has given in to pressure from the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and agreed to recall 33.8 million defective airbags. It is the largest auto recall in U.S. history.

If the ammonium nitrate that inflates Takata’s airbags explodes with too much force, it can cause the airbags to blow apart, sending shrapnel into the passenger compartment. So far, the defective airbags have claimed at least six lives and injured 100 people. For the past year, Takata has refused to declare the airbags defective, even questioning the NHTSA’s authority to order the company to launch a recall. On February 20, the NHTSA began fining the company $14,000 a day. As of Tuesday, when Takata finally agreed to cooperate with safety regulators, the company had racked up $1.2 million in fines. Other civil fines are still possible, according to The Associated Press (AP).

The agreement adds more than 18 million airbags to the existing recalls. A recall of passenger-side airbags initially affected only vehicles in high-humidity states along the Gulf Coast, but it was eventually expanded nationwide by 10.2 million vehicles. A nationwide recall of driver’s side airbags was expanded to include 7.9 million more vehicles, AP reported.

“We know that owners are worried about their safety and the safety of their families,” said Mark Rosekind, head of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), as he announced the agreement. “This is probably the most complex consumer safety recall in U.S. history.”

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Lumber Liquidators Suspends Sale of Flooring Made in China Because of Formaldehyde

Lumber Liquidators Suspends Sale of Flooring Made in China
Lumber Liquidators Suspends Sale of Flooring Made in China

Lumber Liquidators has suspended sales of wood laminate flooring made in China, because of concerns about the levels of formaldehyde, a carcinogen, in the product.

Though Lumber Liquidators says the flooring is safe, customers are concerned about the dangers, CBS News reports. In March, the news magazine 60 Minutes reported that some Chinese-made flooring had levels of formaldehyde higher than allowed. After the report, Lumber Liquidators gave air quality test kits to thousands of customers. Continue reading Lumber Liquidators Suspends Sale of Flooring Made in China Because of Formaldehyde

Health and Medical Groups ask President Obama to Finalize “Long-Overdue” Regulations for E-cigarettes, Cigars and Waterpipe Tobacco

President Obama asked to Finalize Regulations
President Obama asked to Finalize Regulations

Last week, 31 health and medical groups wrote a letter to President Barack Obama asking for the federal government to finalize “long-overdue” regulations for e-cigarettes, cigars and waterpipe tobacco to prevent the products from being sold to minors and to add health warnings to the labels.

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FDA Asks for More Research on Hospital Sanitizers

FDA Asks for More Research on Hospital Sanitizers
FDA Asks for More Research on Hospital Sanitizers

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) states that more research is needed on whether or not hand sanitizers and hand washes used at hospitals are safe and effective. Associated Press reports that the agency is asking manufacturers to submit additional data looking at long-term effects. On Thursday, a proposed rule was published stating that companies must submit research investigating important safety issues. Some main concerns focus around potential hormonal effects and how much sanitizers and washes contribute to antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

Products must be reformulated or removed from the market if they are not shown to be safe and effective by 2018. The newly requested studies and requirements may cost companies between $64 million and $90 million, according to an FDA estimate. The FDA emphasized that healthcare workers should continue to use these products in the meantime, as they are vital to preventing infections in a health care setting.

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“Diet” Artificial Sweeteners may be Making Consumers Fat and Sick, Study Finds

Artificial Sweeteners may be Making Consumers Fat and Sick
Artificial Sweeteners Making Consumers Fat & Sick

If you love diet soda or you always stir in a couple of packets of aspartame, sucralose or saccharine into your morning coffee, you may be setting yourself up for obesity, diabetes and other health problems.

Israeli researchers discovered last year that mice who consumed artificial sweeteners were more likely to become obese and develop glucose intolerance. They found that these products change the number of intestinal bacteria that impact metabolism, which converts food to energy or stored fuel. Conceivably, if the link exists in mice, it may also exist in humans, according to Scientific American.

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