Poison Control Centers Report Large Increase in Reports of Children and Teens Getting Drunk on Hand Sanitizers

Drunk-on-Hand-Sanitizers
Since 2010, poison control centers across the country have seen a nearly 400 percent increase in calls related to children younger than 12 ingesting hand sanitizers that contain alcohol.

Dr. Gaylord Lopez, who is director of the Georgia Poison Center, said, “Kids are getting into these products more frequently, and unfortunately, there’s a percentage of them going to the emergency room.” The amount of alcohol in hand sanitizers ranges from 45 to 95 percent, CNN reports. (In comparison, wine has about 12 percent alcohol and beer about 5 percent, Lopez said.) Continue reading Poison Control Centers Report Large Increase in Reports of Children and Teens Getting Drunk on Hand Sanitizers

Recalled Toro Mowers have Potentially Dangerous Blade Defect

Recalled Toro Mowers have Potentially Dangerous Blade Defect
Recalled Toro Mowers have Dangerous Blade Defect

Toro is recalling about 800 of its walk-behind power mowers. The affected mowers were assembled with an incorrect blade driver and blade combination, which can cause the blade to break, posing a risk of serious injury.

According to a recall notice posted on the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) website, the recall applies to 2015 22-inch walk-behind mowers with a red base on four wheels. The affected mowers can be identified by a black plate on the front at reads “Toro Recycler 22.” The mowers have the model number 20337. The affected machines have serial numbers ranging from 315000101 to 315000983 which are located on a decal affixed to the rear of the machine. The mowers were sold at hardware, lawn and garden stores nationwide in February and March 2015 for about $450.

Consumers are urged to stop using the recalled Toro mowers immediately and contact a Toro dealer to schedule a free repair. Consumers with questions about the recall may contact the company at (844) 521-2384 Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., Central Time, or online at www.toro.com.

Medical Device Maker Biomet in hot Water with the Justice Department Over new Bribery Allegations

Biomet in hot Water w/Justice Dept. Over Bribery Allegations
Biomet in hot Water w/Justice Dept. Over Bribery Allegations

An anonymous whistleblower has lobbed new allegations against medical device maker Biomet, prompting a U.S. Justice Department (D.O.J.) investigation.

Biomet says that prosecutors have decided to extend the company’s probation stemming from a 2012 bribery investigation for an additional year. An anonymous whistleblower said in an email that distributors hired by Biomet to sell the company’s orthopedic devices paid kickbacks to government doctors. The device maker shared the email with the government, prompting the D.O.J. to launch a new investigation. Several employees believed to be at the center of the controversy lost their jobs, according to The New York Times (The Times). Continue reading Medical Device Maker Biomet in hot Water with the Justice Department Over new Bribery Allegations

Ice Cream Tainted with Listeria Kills Three Patients in Kansas

Ice Cream Tainted with Listeria Kills Three Patients in Kansas
Ice Cream Tainted with Listeria Kills Three Patients in Kansas

Blue Bell ice cream products tainted with listeria have sickened five people in Kansas, killing three of them.

Blue Bell issued its first-ever recall of some of its products after five patients were infected with listeria after eating some of the company’s ice cream while in being treated at a hospital for unrelated conditions. Four of the patients were infected by drinking milkshakes made with a single serving of Blue Bell’s Scoops ice cream at the hospital. The CDC said it believes the infections were acquired in the hospital, the Los Angeles Times (LA Times) reported. Continue reading Ice Cream Tainted with Listeria Kills Three Patients in Kansas

Caramel-Colored Sodas may be Making Consumers Sick

According to the results of a new study, caramel-colored sodas like Coca-Cola and Pepsi may put consumers at increased risk for developing cancer.

Researchers from Consumer Reports and the Center for a Livable Future at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health say a potential carcinogen known as 4-methylimidazole (4-MEI), which is formed during the manufacture of caramel colorings in many soft drinks, puts consumers at greater risk for developing cancer. Between 44 and 59 percent of American adults report drinking at least one can of soda per day. The scientists published their findings in the journal PLOS ONE, according to Newsmax Health. Continue reading Caramel-Colored Sodas may be Making Consumers Sick

Southwest Airlines Settles Lawsuit with Mechanic who Reported Fuselage Cracks

Southwest Airlines will pay $35,000 to settle a whistleblower lawsuit filed by a mechanic who alleged that he was disciplined for discovering and reporting two cracks in the fuselage of a Boeing 737-700.

The mechanic claimed he found the cracks during a routine inspection of the aircraft. After reporting the damage, the mechanic was allegedly called into a meeting with his supervisors to “discuss the issue of working outside the scope of his assigned task.” Southwest then issued the whistleblower a “Letter of Instruction” informing him that he had acted outside the scope of work in the task card. The airline warned him that he could face disciplinary actions if he violated his job expectations again, according to Forbes.com. Continue reading Southwest Airlines Settles Lawsuit with Mechanic who Reported Fuselage Cracks

Pennsylvania Senator Urges FDA to ban Powdered Caffeine

Pennsylvania Senator Robert Casey said Monday that he believes powdered caffeine is a potentially dangerous supplement and he wants the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to ban it.

Senator Casey announced that he has written a letter to the head of the FDA detailing his concerns about powdered caffeine. One teaspoon of the substance is the equivalent to 25 cups of coffee. Teens and young adults are increasingly using the supplement to work out, lose weight, and stay up late to study. At least two deaths have been linked to powdered caffeine, which is easy to purchase, according to CBS Philly. Continue reading Pennsylvania Senator Urges FDA to ban Powdered Caffeine

Toyota Ordered to Pay $11 Million to Victims of a Car Crashed Caused by a Design Flaw

A federal jury on Tuesday decided that Toyota Motor Co. was partly to blame for a 2006 car crash that killed three people and left two seriously injured, ordering them to pay the victims nearly $11 million.

In 2006, Koua Fong Lee was behind the wheel of his 1996 Toyota Camry when it accelerated wildly into traffic and crashed into another vehicle. The accident killed the driver of the other vehicle, Javis Trice-Adams Sr., and his 9-year-old son, Javis Adams Jr. His 6-year-old niece, Devyn Bolton, was paralyzed and died in October 2007. His daughter, Jasmine Adams, then 12, was seriously injured, as was his father, Quincy Ray Adams. Those two and Devyn Bolton’s mother, Bridgette Trice, were the other plaintiffs in the case, along with Lee and four of his family members who were in his car at the time of the crash, according to the Associated Press (AP). Continue reading Toyota Ordered to Pay $11 Million to Victims of a Car Crashed Caused by a Design Flaw

Ginko Biloba Tablets from Four Major Retailers Found to be Adulterated

Many store-brand ginkgo biloba tablets sold in stores and pharmacies contain non-herbal ingredients but no actual ginkgo biloba, a recent investigation by the New York State attorney general’s (AG) office found.

The AG’s office investigated store-brand supplements at GNC, Target, Walgreens and Wal-Mart and issued all four stores cease-and-desist letters insisting that they stop selling several of their dietary supplements after tests showed several of the products contained none of the herbs shown on the labels. Many of them included potential allergens not identified in the ingredients list, such as wheat and beans. The investigation was prompted by a New York Times (Times) article that raised questions about the integrity of supplements, according to The Washington Post (Post). Continue reading Ginko Biloba Tablets from Four Major Retailers Found to be Adulterated

Researchers Uncover Link Between ADHD and Commonly Used Pesticide

Common household pesticides may increase the risk of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children, according to a recent study.

Rutgers University, Emory University, University of Rochester Medical Center and Wake Forest University researchers discovered that mice who were exposed to the pesticide in utero and through lactation exhibited several features of ADHD. Those features include dysfunctional dopamine signaling in the brain, hyperactivity, working memory, attention deficits and impulsive behavior. The results of the study were published in the Journal of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB), according to FirstPost.com. Continue reading Researchers Uncover Link Between ADHD and Commonly Used Pesticide