Articles Posted in Consumer Product safety

The US Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) continues to provide very valuable information about consumer products which are recalled for the threats they pose to the health of their users, and perhaps others.

For example, CPSC reports that, over just the last two weeks, tens of thousands of products have been recalled. Do you have any of these in your home or office?

·Arctic Cat Snowmobiles (impact hazard)

Could the airbag in the automobile you drive, that is supposed to protect you in the event of an accident, seriously harm or even kill you instead?

For millions of drivers in the U.S., the unfortunate answer is yes. And many of these people are still unaware of the danger.

Millions of Takata airbags, in dozens of car models and brands, have a defect that could cause them to explode when deployed, sending metal shrapnel into the driver and passengers. Current airbag recalls in the U.S could eventually include as many as 42 million vehicles with the potentially lethal Takata airbags, but the word has not gotten out to everyone about the danger. So far, only 12.5 million of these faulty airbags have been replaced, and that leaves millions of people at risk. 1

Co-authored by Jacob Exline of The Collins Law Firm, P.C.

Food-related injuries and death are often overlooked by the American consumer. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that nearly 48 million people get sick from foodborne illnesses yearly and almost 3,000 of those people die.1 The need for reform of the rules and procedures for the handling and distribution of food is evident by the increasing amount of outbreaks of foodborne illnesses. Most recently, both Blue Bell Ice Cream and Sunland Peanut Butter had to shut down their production facilities and recall thousands of products from the shelves of retailers.

In response to this growing issue, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has released details of a new law that requires businesses in the food industry to comply with stronger and safer food regulations. The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), which has been in revisions since 2013, is aimed at reforming the way facilities handle food and assess and respond to hazards that often lead to recalls and illnesses.

Co-authored by Cassidy Carroll of The Collins Law Firm, P.C.

Summer is in full force with Fourth of July this weekend and we are all excited to celebrate our Independence Day with parades, barbeques, and family gatherings. However, there is one thing that defines the Fourth of July in everyone’s mind—fireworks. While we all enjoy the vibrant colors, the inspiring displays, and the way they light up the night sky, fireworks—if used carelessly—can turn a fun experience into a tragic event.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that fireworks killed 11 people and injured 10,500 people in the last year alone.1 In the weeks leading up to and following the Fourth of July, an average of 230 people go to the emergency room every day for firework-related injuries.2

Co-authored by Jacob Exline of The Collins Law Firm, P.C.

Bike-riding is one of the most popular hobbies in the summer. Whether it be a bicycle or a motorcycle, it is one of the best ways to get outside and enjoy the sun. Riding a bike isn’t all care-free and ease, though, as it comes with dangers when both drivers and bikers alike aren’t attentive. In 2012 (the most recent year with data available), Illinois ranked fifth in the nation in bicyclist fatalities.1 Between 2010 and 2012, there were 80 deaths in Illinois in bike-related accidents. California was first with 338. Bicycle fatalities rose by 16% between 2010 and 2012, while motor vehicle deaths rose by only 1%. This speaks to the vulnerability of bicyclists who travel on the street.

One of the best ways to keep yourself safe while going on a bike ride is to wear a helmet. Unfortunately, Illinois does not have a state law that requires a helmet for bicyclists. There are a few cities, such as Barrington, Cicero, and Skokie, that require children under the age of 16 to wear helmets, but there are no such laws for adults.2 Chicago requires that bike messengers of all ages wear helmets, but only while on duty. The same goes for motorcyclists. There is no federal or state law that requires a rider or a passenger to wear a helmet while on a motorcycle. Illinois repealed its helmet law in 1970 and it has not been reopened since.3

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