NHTSA Says Fiat Chrysler Under-Reported Injuries and Deaths

NHTSA Says Fiat Chrysler Under-Reported Injuries and Deaths
NHTSA Says Fiat Chrysler Under-Reported Injuries and Deaths

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Fiat Chrysler under-reported the number of deaths, injuries and legal claims it is required to report to regulators. NHTSA says the number of under-reported incidents is “significant”. Under the Tread Act, carmakers are obliged to report certain information to regulators. Financial Times reports that Fiat Chrysler found “deficiencies” in its system while looking into discrepancies.

NHTSA’s administration Mark Rosekind said “FCA [Fiat Chrysler] has informed NHTSA that in investigating that discrepancy, it has found significant under-reported notices and claims of deaths, injuries and other information required as part of the early warning reporting system,” according to Financial Times. The under-reporting stemmed from “a number of problems” said Mr. Rosekind. “This represents a significant failure to meet a manufacturer’s safety responsibilities.”

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Chewbeads’ Pacifier Clips Recalled Because of Choking Hazard

Chewbeads’ Pacifier Clips Recalled Because of Choking
Chewbeads’ Pacifier Clips Recalled Because of Choking

Chewbeads Inc., a New York company that makes teething jewelry for mothers to wear, has recalled more than 45,000 pacifier clips in the United States and Canada because of a possible choking hazard.

In the recall announcement, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) said D-ring on the pacifier clip can break, allowing beads to detach, posing a choking hazard for the child. Chewbeads has received seven reports of beads detaching from the products, though there have been no reports of injuries, according to Fox News. Continue reading Chewbeads’ Pacifier Clips Recalled Because of Choking Hazard

3 Cigarette Companies Receive FDA Warning Letters

3 Cigarette Companies Receive FDA Warning Letters
3 Cigarette Companies Receive FDA Warning Letters

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has sent warning letters to three cigarette companies for making “additive-free” and/or “natural claims. ITG Brands LLC for Winston and Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Company Inc. for Natural American Spirit cigarettes were cited for making “additive-free” claims. The FDA also warned Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Company and Sherman’s 1400 Broadway N.Y.C. Ltd. for Nat Sherman cigarettes for labeling their products as natural.

In 2009, the FDA gained authority to regulate cigarettes and other tobacco products. The warning letters mark the first time the agency has ever exercised that authority. Mitch Zeller, director of the FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products, said in an FDA news release, “The FDA’s job is to ensure tobacco products are not marketed in a way that leads consumers to believe cigarettes with descriptors like ‘additive-free’ and ‘natural’ pose fewer health risks than other cigarettes, unless the claims have been scientifically supported,”

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Bed Handles, Inc. Reannounces Product Recall After Only 1 Percent Response to Earlier Recall

Bed-Handles
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and Bed Handles, Inc. have reannounced the recall of about 113,000 adult portable bed handles. The bed handles assist adults with getting in and out of bed by giving them a bar to grip.

When the handles are attached to the bed without the use of safety retention straps, a handle can shift out of place creating a dangerous gap between the bed handle and the side of the mattress. The gap poses a serious risk of entrapment, strangulation and death, the CPSC explains. The previous recall was announced on May 20, 2014. Continue reading Bed Handles, Inc. Reannounces Product Recall After Only 1 Percent Response to Earlier Recall

Government Data Shows Rise in Recalls of Organic Foods

Government Data Shows Rise in Recalls of Organic Foods
Data Shows Rise in Recalls of Organic Foods

Data from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Department of Agriculture shows a sharp increase in the number of recalls of organic food products.

Stericycle, a company that handles recalls for businesses, uses this government data to compile quarterly reports on food recalls. Organic food products accounted for 7 percent of all food units recalled so far this year, compared with 2 percent of those recalled last year, according to the New York Times.

Organic food accounted for only 1 percent of the total units recalled in 2012 and 2013. Kevin Pollack, Stericycle vice president, said the growing demand for organic ingredients was at least partly responsible for the increase in organic food recalls. Pollack said it is “striking” that since 2012, “all organic recalls have been driven by bacterial contamination, like salmonella, listeria and hepatitis A, rather than a problem with a label.” Bacterial contamination can cause serious illnesses and deaths, especially for the very young, the elderly, and those with weakened immune systems. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that food-borne illnesses cause about 3,000 deaths annually. The overall amount of food recalled because of suspected bacterial contamination has increased this year, adding to an upward trend in food recalls since 2012, according to the Times. Stericycle predicts a 24 percent increase in the number of food units that will be recalled this year, the Times reports.

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New York Company Recalls Ayurvedic Dietary Supplements That Contain Dangerous Levels of Lead and Mercury

Ayurvedic-Dietary-Supplements
Butala Emporium of Jackson Heights, New York, has recalled 11 Ayurvedic dietary supplements that contain elevated lead and mercury levels and could be dangerous to health.

The elevated lead and mercury levels in the Baidyanath brand supplements may cause health problems. Infants, small children, pregnant women, and those with underlying kidney disorders are at greatest risk, according to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The elevated lead and mercury levels were discovered during testing by the New York City Department of Health and the FDA. Continue reading New York Company Recalls Ayurvedic Dietary Supplements That Contain Dangerous Levels of Lead and Mercury

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

Outdoor Cell Phone Use Could Increase Skin Cancer Risk

Outdoor-Cell-Phone-Use-Could-Increase-Skin-Cancer-Risk
Researchers from the University of New Mexico have published a study showing that outdoor use of electronic devices like smartphones, tablets, and laptops can increase the user’s skin cancer risk by increasing exposure to cancer-causing wavelengths.

Mary E. Logue of the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, coauthor with Dr. Barrett J. Zlotoff, said it is easy to overlook the “reflective properties” of electronic devices, “unless you happen to catch the glare off a screen,” Reuters reports. Continue reading Outdoor Cell Phone Use Could Increase Skin Cancer Risk

APA Review Indicates Violent Video Games are Linked to Aggression

APA Calls for Greater Parental Controls in Violent Games
APA Calls for Greater Parental Controls in Violent Games

Playing violent video games is a risk factor for aggressive behavior, a review by the American Psychological Association (APA) task force on violent media indicates. The review looked at more than 300 violent video game studies published between 2005 and 2013. Aggressive behavior was not caused by a single influence but was an “accumulation of risk factors”, the report showed. It stated that “The research reviewed here demonstrates that violent video game use is one such risk factor.” according to Press Association.

“Scientists have investigated the use of violent video games for more than two decades but to date, there is very limited research addressing whether violent video games cause people to commit acts of criminal violence.” said Dr. Mark Appelbaum, who chaired the APA task force. “However, the link between violence in video games and increased aggression in players is one of the most studied and best established in the field…We know that there are numerous risk factors for aggressive behaviour.”

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