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Articles Posted in Personal Injury

Benzene-in-sunscreensSummer is here, along with beach days, afternoons at the neighborhood pool, tropical vacations, and lathering up in sunscreen. As you head out into the summer sun, however, it might be worth doing some research before grabbing any old bottle of sunscreen off the shelf. A new report has found benzene, a chemical that is known to cause cancer, in 78 sunscreen and after-sun products.

Independent Testing Found Benzene in 27% of Sunscreens

Valisure, a pharmacy that performs its own independent tests on various products, recently tested almost 300 different sunscreens in an effort to find a “clean” sunscreen. Of those 300 sunscreens, 78 (or 27%) tested positive for benzene; some even containing triple the FDA’s limit of 2 parts per million. As a result, Valisure is asking for a recall of the contaminated batches.

sleep-apnea-mask-photo-300x212Last month, Philips issued a huge recall of many of its ventilators and continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machines meant to help those struggling with sleep apnea. The company has issued the recall with no answers as to when the products will be fixed and available again, leaving many people feeling lost without an alternative. People with sleep apnea need these machines to get a good night’s sleep and ensure their safety during the night. Untreated sleep apnea can result in a slew of health problems; everything from anxiety and tiredness to high blood pressure, heart attacks, or strokes. Leaving people without treatment for their sleep apnea is potentially dangerous. However, the problems with these machines need to be resolved before they are safe to use.

What is the Problem with Phillips’ CPAP Machines?

The issue with these devices is the foam that is inside of them, a polyester-based polyurethane (PE-PUR). This foam is meant to reduce the sounds and vibrations that come from the device, but it has recently been discovered that this foam also has the potential to break down inside the device and enter the air pathway of the machine, leading to the possibility of being inhaled or swallowed by the person using it. The foam also may release chemicals into the airway of the device, which would then be inhaled by the user.

baby-2423896_1920-1-300x200Beech-Nut Nutrition is voluntarily recalling an infant rice cereal due to high levels of arsenic. The cereal impacted is the Single Grain Rice baby cereal with an expiration date of May 1, 2022. The reason for the recall is that the cereal exceeds the FDA’s limit of 100 parts per billion of arsenic.

In addition, the company announced that it will no longer market Single Grain Rice Baby Cereal, citing their commitment to infant safety and doubt about being able to consistently obtain rice flour below the FDA guidance level for inorganic arsenic as reasons for the decision. This is good news for parents who have been concerned about the recent reports of toxic heavy metals–including arsenic–in the baby food they feed their infants, but it is not enough. It’s critical that the other major baby food companies make the health and safety of children a priority as well.

The scrutiny of heavy metals in baby food is long overdue. Last year, a subcommittee of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Reform, which had been investigating the presence of arsenic and other toxic metals in baby food, issued their final report. The report revealed that all of the major companies that responded to the agency’s request for internal testing documentation had arsenic in their baby food. Beech-Nut was not the only company with this problem; Gerber, Hain, and Nurture also had the same issue. Three other baby food companies—Walmart, Sprout Organic, and Campbell’s–did not cooperate with the investigation.

Blog-photo-Pool-300x200Summer is just around the corner, and with the new season comes beautiful weather, swimming, boating, summer sports, recreation, and unfortunately but inevitably, accidents. From swimming pool accidents to sports injuries, summer is full of activities that can cause injuries. It is important to be aware of these hazards if you want to keep yourself and your loved ones safe this summer.

Common Types of Accidents During the Summer Months

 Certain accidents occur more commonly during the summer than at other times of the year. Here are some eye-opening statistics on the most common summer accidents.

breast-implants-300x199After Allergan’s textured breast implants were linked to breast implant-associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma (BIA-ALCL), the FDA asked Allergan to voluntarily recall the implants in July 2019. BIA-ALCL is a rare form of Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma that appears almost exclusively in women who have textured breast implants, Allergan’s Biocell implants in particular.

BIA-ALCL is typically found in the scar tissue and fluid surrounding the implants, and if left untreated, can spread to other parts of the body. The symptoms of the cancer include pain or swelling near the implant, a lump in the breast, or a hardening of the breast. So far, 481 women with Allergan textured breast implants have been diagnosed with BIA-ALCL, and 33 have died.

Since the recall, women have been consulting with their doctors about the best course forward for them, including discussing whether removing the implants and replacing them with a safer type of breast implant is the best option. Many women, with the advice of their doctor, have decided to go this route.

Treadmill-300x179Peloton is recalling its Tread+ and Tread treadmills, less than a month after fighting with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) over the agency’s “urgent warning” about the potential dangers of the treadmills and request for a recall of the machines.  The warning urged consumers to stop using the treadmills after they were linked to the death of one child and the injuries of 29 others.

On Wednesday, the company said that it will offer full refunds for the treadmills, which cost $4,295, and will stop selling them. The recall comes with an apology from Peloton CEO, John Foley, who said that the company “made a mistake” in fighting the commission’s request for a recall.

The commission issued the warning and recall request because it had received 72 reports of children, pets, and other objects being pulled under the treadmill. Twenty-nine of those reports involved children who were injured by the treadmill, including children with broken bones, brain injuries, and cuts. One six-year-old child died from his injuries. The potential dangers of the exercise machines were highlighted in a video showing a child being pulled under a Pelton treadmill which was posted to YouTube.

Treadmill-300x179On April 17, 2021, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) issued a warning advising consumers to stop using Peloton treadmills,  after the Peloton Tread+ allegedly left one child dead. The commission is additionally concerned because of multiple reports of victims, mostly children, being pulled under the machine and suffering serious injuries as a result.

According to an official at the CPSC, this is not an accident that happens with other treadmills. The agency is asking Peloton to recall the treadmill while CPSC continues its investigation into the death of the child.

Peloton is fighting the recall and the investigation, claiming the CPSC warning is “inaccurate and misleading”. They insist their treadmills are safe for use as long as the warnings and safety instructions are followed. They do admit, however, that it’s important for consumers to keep children, pets, and other objects clear of the treadmill at all times. This, as any parent knows, is impossible unless you keep your treadmill in a locked room, as the CPSC is recommending. Moreover, parental supervision may not even prevent an accident. In one incident a child was allegedly pulled under the treadmill while the parent was running on it.

winter-driving-300x200Winter is here with a bang and so are its dangers. While snowstorms may bring an abundance of beauty, they also bring an abundance of hazards: iced-over, slippery, or snowy roads, poor visibility, and broken-down vehicles all pose an extra threat during this magical time of year. As a result, 17% of all crashes occur during winter weather. Research done by AAA’s Foundation for Traffic Safety shows that, within the United States alone, nearly half a million crashes and 2,000 road deaths are caused every year by bad weather or poor road conditions. Being aware of these dangers and preparing properly for them can ensure your safety and the safety of your loved ones on the road.

Winter driving dangers are in large part caused by terrible road conditions, poor visibility, and neglectful vehicle maintenance.

Terrible road conditions can be caused by one of three things: rain, snow, or ice. Rain can decrease visibility and cause hydroplaning, snow can make it difficult to accelerate and decelerate your car, and ice can be so thin it’s not even visible (black ice) and can make the roads extremely slippery. All 3 of these things can lead to accidents because they make it more difficult to stop, start, or turn your vehicle.

baby-food-1-300x300Baby food has been facing some much-needed scrutiny lately. A recently released Congressional report disclosed that many top baby foods, both organic and non-organic, are contaminated with dangerous levels of heavy metals such as arsenic, cadmium, lead, and mercury. This is especially concerning since both the World Health Organization and the FDA have concluded that these heavy metals pose a danger to human health, and to babies and children in particular.

The findings are the result of a year-long investigation by the House Committee on Oversight and Reform into heavy metals in baby food. Launched after a 2019 study by Healthy Babies Bright Futures found toxic metals in 95% of the baby food they tested, the Congressional investigation asked top baby food companies to voluntarily produce information about their testing policies and test results. Four companies responded to this request: Gerber, Beech-Nut, Hain, and Nurture. The Hain products are labeled as ‘Earth’s Best Organic’ and the Nurture products are labeled as ‘HappyBABY’. Three other companies—Walmart, Sprout Organic, and Campbell–did not cooperate, according to the Congressional report.

The responses to the Congressional inquiry revealed a major problem: all of the companies had used ingredients containing heavy metals in their baby food. Not only that, but the companies had routinely ignored their own standards for toxic metals, continuing to sell tainted baby food to families. And most of the companies had failed to test their finished baby food products for toxic metals, despite an industry admission that testing only the ingredients might underestimate the amount of heavy metals in the finished product. Below are the some of the results included in the Congressional report. (Keep in mind that these numbers are from the companies’ own test results, not results from an independent lab.)

Are you aware that certain cars can put you at a significantly higher risk of suffering serious consequences if you are in a car accident? It’s true. The type, make, and model of the vehicle you are driving can have a substantial impact on your level of safety in the event you are in a car crash. And contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to spend a lot of money to drive an extremely safe car. Fortunately, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), has compiled data on which cars had the highest and lowest rates of driver deaths per million registered vehicle years for the period between 2015-2018. Being aware of this information can help you make a safe choice if you are considering purchasing a new car.

The top 5 cars on the list with the highest rates of driver deaths are:

  • Ford Fiesta: 141 driver deaths per million registered vehicle years
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