In Back to the Future II, Marty McFly stepped on a floating piece of fiberglass and used it to get away from a group of thugs trying to beat him up. In that moment, everyone in America wanted a hoverboard. Now, 25 years later, people are getting that wish granted. The hoverboard is the hottest gift of the 2015 Christmas season. The only problem? There are now enough reports from around the country to show that hoverboards can be very dangerous.
Nearly 90 percent of hoverboards that have been imported to Britain since October have been seized for being “unsafe” because of worries they could explode or catch fire. Back in America, reports of hoverboards catching fire have started popping up over the past couple months. Read the rest »
In yet another boondoggle for consumers, Honda, GM, BMW and other automakers have begun recalling nearly eight million cars because of potentially defective airbags installed between 2002 and 2008 by safety parts manufacturer, Takata. If stored in climates with relatively high humidity, the airbags have the potential to explode with significantly more force in an accident and cause metal within the device to fly out like grenade shrapnel. The faulty bags line the dashboards, steering wheels and door interiors of suspected vehicles – making it a veritable kill-box should there be an accident. To date there are over 30 known injuries and multiple deaths linked to these deadly safety devices.
Like the most recent GM recall, finger pointing and outright denial has been the bulk of Takata’s defense. Rumors and accusations have flown about how much the company knew, when they knew it and how likely it is they covered up the problem. However, in a recent move, Takata admitted, under pressure by lawmakers, watch dog groups and their own consumers, that mishandled propellant installed by their Mexico planet is the likely cause of the problem. Under certain humid conditions, the propellant may become volatile and in the process of deployment, can tear apart the metal inflator housing – making it a miniature explosive sitting only feet from consumers’ faces. Read the rest »
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), retail giant Wal-Mart is recalling some 73,400 card table and chair sets due to finger amputation and fall hazards.
So far, there have been 10 reports of injuries after the black vinyl upholstered chairs collapsed. The injuries include reports of a sore back, fingertip amputations, fractured or sprained fingers and one finger amputation.
The Mainstays five-piece card table set was sold exclusively at Wal-Mart stores and Wal-Mart online. The affected tables were manufactured in China and Taiwan and sold for approximately $50. The product was offered from May 2013 through November 2013.
Read the rest »
A woman is pondering what “could have been” after an e-cigarette she was charging exploded in her Georgia home — an explosion she compared to a “bomb detonation.”
The woman claims that after she plugged the Chinese-manufactured eHit electronic cigarette into her laptop to charge, it exploded, sending 4-foot flames across her living room. She said the flames scorched her couch and rug. Fortunately, she was able to grab a wet washrag and pull the still-smoldering device out of her computer’s USB port before it could do any more damage.
“If I hadn’t been home, I would have lost my dogs, I would have lost my cats, I would have lost my house,” the woman told WSB-TV.
Read the rest »
An occupational medicine specialist from the University of California, San Francisco testified in Los Angeles Superior Court that the failure of a Johnson & Johnson ASR hip implant was due to toxic exposure from the metal-on-metal device.
In the first “bellwether’ trial concerning J&J’s ASR all-metal hip replacement, attorneys for the plaintiff are seeking to bolster their contention that J&J was aware that its metal-on-metal hip implants were defective and that the company failed to warn consumers about the risks. Read the rest »
It’s been a month since Stryker Orthopedics voluntarily recalled its “Rejuvenate” hip replacement devices due to “potential risks,” and now a 66-year-old Florida woman has filed a lawsuit against the company. The lawsuit claims the company manufactured and sold a defective product that caused her serious health complications.
The woman underwent surgery in October 2011 to replace her right hip with Rejuvenate. According to her attorney, she started experiencing pain within months of the operation, and although doctors looking into her complaints couldn’t find an infection, they did find that she had elevated metal levels in her blood. Read the rest »
Drug maker Johnson & Johnson (J & J) announced on January 27 that it was recalling about 2,200 tubes of a baby lotion after excessive amounts of bacteria were discovered in one sample by U.S. regulators. The lotion in question is Aveeno Baby Calming Comfort Lotion and it was taken off the shelves in eight southern states and Kansas voluntarily in “an abundance of caution,” adding that it was very unlikely the product would harm any children.
According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the tube tested had an excess amount of bacteria. A test conducted later did not duplicate that finding.
The product with a lot number of 0161LK was made in Canada and contained a bacteria identified as coagulase-negative Staphylococci. This type of bacteria is found in the environment and on the scalp naturally, as well as in cosmetics and household products, but it can cause urinary tract and central nervous system infections. Some strains are reported to be resistant to antibiotics. J & J issued a statement that consumers could still use the lotion or could call the company at (877) 298-2525 to receive a refund for this product recall. Read the rest »
Consumer safety groups want to know if the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) actually looked at safety data before declaring silicone breast implants safe last year. The Washington Post quotes the National Research Center for Women and Families in a January 4 story stating that one in five, or 20 percent, of women will have to have their silicone breast implants removed and/or replaced within five years because of complications. The FDA decided last summer that silicone implants are basically safe, but that women must understand what can go wrong. An outside FDA panel of experts echoed the same conclusion and decided the controversial implants should stay on the market.
In a letter to the FDA, the group’s president asked why industry shows a decline in complications in silicone breast implants over time, and also questioned why the FDA did not share information from industry studies that show women seem to suffer a reduction in emotional and physical well-being after they’ve had the implanted breast medical devices. Read the rest »
Legislation was introduced in the U.S. Senate on December 14 that would require medical device makers to track their products after they are implanted in patients. As amazing as it sounds, that doesn’t happen now. And even more astonishing, many implantable medical devices do not undergo a premarket review for safety before they are sold for use.
In recent years, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has overseen the recall of artificial hips which are known to fail prematurely in patients. Reports of complications from defective synthetic surgical mesh have increased five-fold in recent years, according to the FDA, and still it remains on the market. Both of these medical devices were approved without scrutiny for safety under the agency’s 510(k) approval process for marketing alone. It just requires the device be “substantially equivalent” to a device already on the market. Read the rest »
The news website Fair Warning reports that a chemical found in common household products, as well as a contaminant in groundwater, has been linked to Parkinson’s disease (PD) in a new study.
Published in the Annals of Neurology, the study looked at 99 sets of twins in which one of the twins suffered from Parkinson’s disease, a neurological disorder that is progressive and causes uncontrollable shaking. The study was conducted by the Parkinson’s Institute and Clinical Center (PI) in Sunnyvale, California, and after evaluating both of the twins’ exposure to environmental settings, researchers found that the twin who worked around or was exposed to trichloroethylene (TCE) had six times the risk of developing the disease. Other solvents have been linked to Parkinson’s, including perchloroethylene (or PERC) and carbon tetrachloride (or CCI4). Read the rest »