Articles Posted in Consumer Product safety

water-bottle-g82d7e38e6_1920-300x241We have all been told about the benefits of drinking water out of a reusable bottle. It’s convenient, better for the environment than single-use bottles, and increases your daily water intake. However, if your reusable water bottle is made out of plastic, it may be more damaging to your health than it is beneficial. In a recent study,  chemists at the University of Copenhagen discovered that tap water that gets stored in reusable plastic bottles contains hundreds and sometimes thousands of chemicals; many that are damaging to human health, and many more that have unknown toxicity.

The chemists tested three different types of popular plastic water bottles, two of which were biodegradable. The researchers stored tap water in both used and new bottles for 24 hours. Some of the bottles had been machine washed, some had not, and some had been rinsed 5 times with tap water. They then tested the water in the bottles for a variety of chemicals.

Shockingly, after just 24 hours, the researchers found hundreds of substances present in the tap water stored in the new bottles—including substances that had never been found in plastic. Worse still, they discovered THOUSANDS of substances in the water stored in bottles that had been through a dishwasher cycle. And even the tap water stored in thoroughly rinsed bottles contained a significant percentage of toxic and unknown substances. More than 400 of the substances were derived from plastic and 3500 from dishwashing soap.

Baby-feeding-bottle-g6789f2148_1920-300x225The product liability attorneys at The Collins Law Firm are investigating claims from the parents of premature infants who were fed Similac or Enfamil baby formula while in the hospital and then developed necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC).

What is NEC?

Necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) is a serious intestinal illness–typically affecting premature infants—that can cause permanent damage to a baby’s gastrointestinal system. The word “Necrotizing” refers to cell damage and death. “Entero” means the intestine, and “Colitis” means inflammation of the colon. NEC typically happens after the first 2 weeks of life in premature babies who are fed cow’s milk-based formula instead of breast milk. NEC develops when the tissue in the large intestine becomes inflamed due to a bacterial infection. The infection and inflammation cause sections of the intestine to become necrotic and die. When this happens, it can create a perforation (or hole) in the intestine which allows bacteria to escape into the abdomen and pass into the bloodstream. Unfortunately, NEC usually strikes suddenly and can progress rapidly. If not treated immediately, it may put a baby’s life in danger.

Better-Homes-and-gardens-recall-300x201On October 22nd, 2021, Walmart issued a recall of approximately 3,900 bottles of their Better Homes and Gardens-branded Essential Oil Infused Aromatherapy Room Spray with Gemstones due to the presence of a potentially deadly bacteria in the product. The CDC tested the room spray and determined that it contained the extremely rare and dangerous bacteria Burkholderia pseudomallei which causes melioidosis, a condition that is difficult to diagnose and can be fatal. So far, there have been four confirmed cases of melioidosis and two deaths, including that of a child. The cases have been reported in Georgia, Kansas, Minnesota, and Texas. The recall includes 6 different scents:

  • 84140411420 Better Homes and Gardens (BHG) Gem Room Spray Lavender & Chamomile
  • 84140411421 Better Homes and Gardens (BHG) Gem Room Spray Lemon and Mandarin

Pregnant-woman-300x200**The Collins Law Firm is not accepting clients for this case at this time. This blog is intended to inform women of a new study highlighting the potential risk of taking Tylenol during pregnancy.**

Is acetaminophen use during pregnancy potentially risky for the fetus? That appears to be the consensus of a group of 13 international scientists.

The group has issued a statement warning against using acetaminophen (sold as Tylenol) during pregnancy until the painkiller can be investigated for its potentially negative impact on fetal development.

Instagram-300x246In explosive and damaging testimony, whistleblower Frances Haugen told Congress that internal research proves that Facebook and Instagram knowingly showed teens and young women content that caused them to develop eating disorders, depression, and suicidal thoughts.

Sit down and let that sink in.

Facebook and Instagram (which is owned by Facebook) allegedly knew from their own research that their content was potentially causing irreparable damage to young women and teen girls but continued to push that content for profit. “Facebook knows that they are leading young users to anorexia content,” said Ms. Haugen, adding that, “I am here today because I believe Facebook’s products harm children.”

baby-g98cb63cde_1920-300x195On September 23rd, 2021, the Boppy Company issued a voluntary recall of 3.3 million baby loungers after eight infants suffocated while sleeping on the pillow between 2015 and 2020. The three baby loungers being recalled are:

  • Boppy Original Newborn Loungers
  • Boppy Preferred Newborn Loungers

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.

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.

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