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Button cell batteries can be lethal if ingested

Parents should be aware of a hidden danger that could cause serious injury and even death to young children – small button cell batteries found in bathroom scales, remote controls, iPod chargers, and even musical greeting cards. If ingested, the tiny lithium batteries can bore holes through tiny a esophagus and surrounding organs causing serious and often permanent problems. “I want to raise awareness for parents, for doctors, for the community,” Cara George of Littleton, Colo., told the New York Times. “I think there should be warnings on every item the batteries are in. They are in greeting cards and ... Read More

IV antibiotics, antiemetic recalled due to possible contamination

Two intravenous (IV) antibiotics used to treat a variety of infections and an antiemetic used to treat nausea and vomiting associated with chemotherapy or surgery are being recalled by the manufacturer because the products may be contaminated, according to a public health alert issued by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). ... Read More

New safety labels for Xenical, Alli warn of severe liver injury risk

Weight-loss drugs Xenical and Alli have added to their safety labels a new warning about an increased risk of severe liver injury, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reports. The warning follows an announcement late last summer of an investigation by the federal agency into 32 reports of serious liver injury and six cases of liver failure between 1999 and October 2008 in patients who took orlistat, marketed in the U.S. as the prescription Xenical and the over-the-counter Alli. The most recent evaluation by the FDA reviewed 13 reports of severe liver injury, 12 of which included foreign reports with ... Read More

BP's top kill fails to stop oil, company prepares risky attempt

BP’s latest efforts to plug the Deepwater Horizon oil well have failed again, and the growing oil slick that CEO Tony Hayward earlier called a “tiny” bit of oil in the “vast ocean” is now by his own admission an “environmental catastrophe.” BP’s latest efforts to stop the geyser of oil with heavy drilling mud – a procedure the company called a “top kill” — appeared successful in its initial stages but ultimately failed over the weekend. BP also tried to blow golf balls and chunks of rubber tire into the well, but that, too, failed to stop the leak. ... Read More

PediaCare products added to recall list with children’s Tylenol, Motrin

Blacksmith Brands announced the voluntary recall this week of all lots of PediaCare Multi-Symptom Cold 4-ounce, PediaCare Long Acting Cough 4-ounce, PediCare Decongestant 4-ounce, and PediaCare Allergy and Cold 4-ounce. The products were made at McNeil Consumer Healthcare-PPC, Inc., a Johnson & Johnson Company, at McNeil's Fort Washington, Penn., plant. The products are sold exclusively in the United States. This recall is a precautionary measure, as the medicines were manufactured in the same plant deemed unsafe by the FDA last month in connection with a recall of children's Tylenol and Motrin. ... Read More

Pediatric hydration product recalled because of possible contamination

An alternative treatment for dehydration in pediatric patients is being recalled by the manufacturer because some lots of the product were found to be contaminated, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reports. Baxter International Inc., says it initiated the voluntary recall on all manufactured lots of HYLENEX recombinant (hyaluronidase human injection) as a precautionary measure after routine stabilization testing found particulate matter in some vials. The particulate matter consisted of small, flake-like particles identified as glass. About 3,500 vials are included in the recall. ... Read More

BP used Three Little Pigs story to explain employee housing options

The Daily Beast has located some internal BP documents that throws much light on the disaster that took place aboard the Deepwater Horizon oil rig and a mile below it. The documents, which surfaced after a March 2005 explosion at a Texas oil refinery killed 15 workers and injured 170 plant employees and residents of nearby neighborhoods, concern a cost-savings analysis of employee housing. What’s particularly telling about these memos and the corporate culture of BP, one of the world’s biggest oil companies, is that they illustrate the value of employee lives with the story of the Three Little Pigs. ... Read More

CPSC warns Memorial Day weekend among deadliest times for ATV riders

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is warning All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV) riders to take precautions to stay safe this holiday weekend and riding season. For the 4-day period surrounding the 2009 Memorial Day holiday, CPSC is aware of 27 fatalities, with two under the age of 16, averaging almost seven deaths a day. As the prime ATV riding season kicks into gear, so does the increase in deaths. Just last month, CPSC staff was aware through media reports of at least 40 fatalities between April 1st and April 30th, including 12 involving children younger than 16 years ... Read More

Oil spill estimates soar as top-kill procedure shows signs of success

Ever since the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded and sank into the Gulf of Mexico, scientists from both the public and private sectors have offered estimates on how much oil was gushing from BP’s runaway well. New estimates announced by U.S. Geological Survey Dr. Marcia McNutt yesterday place the total amount of oil spilled to date between 17 and 39 million gallons, which means that BP’s original estimates were grossly understated. It also means that the Deepwater Horizon oil spill has dwarfed the 1989 Exxon Valdez spill in size to become the worst spill and environmental disaster in U.S. history. Calculating ... Read More

F.D.A. Weighs Penalties in Drug Recall

The Johnson & Johnson unit that recalled millions of bottles of liquid children's Tylenol and other pediatric medicines last month may face criminal penalties, product seizures or other sanctions, an official from the Food and Drug Administration said Thursday. The agency is considering further actions against McNeil Consumer Healthcare, the Johnson & Johnson unit, after a pattern of violations in manufacturing and quality control practices led to a number of recent recalls, Dr. Joshua M. Sharfstein, the F.D.A.'s principal deputy commissioner, said at a Congressional hearing on Thursday. ... Read More