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Canadian study tests ATVs for stability, finds need for regulation

From the city of Edmonton in Alberta, Canada, where vast open spaces and rugged terrain translate to a love of off-roading, comes a university study that tests the lateral stability of all-terrain vehicles and questions the standards, or rather lack of standards, that govern their safety. According to the Edmonton Journal, last year a Canadian investigative news program asked Dr. David Checkel of the University of Alberta to help test ATV stability and safety for a report. Dr. Checkel, a mechanical engineering professor, agreed to conduct the tests and assembled a team of engineering students to help him. “There was ... Read More

Can cosmic rays compromise Toyota’s electronic systems?

In the quest to discover the cause of sudden, unintended acceleration in Toyota vehicles, some scientists are looking to the sun. Subatomic particles bursting forth from our sun and other stars occasionally make it through the earth’s atmosphere, propelled by cosmic blast waves to the earth’s surface, where they can sometimes wreak havoc on our terrestrial electronic systems. All cars manufactured these days rely less on mechanical systems for most of their functions and more on sophisticated electronic microcontrollers, which form the vehicle’s brains and govern basic functions such as throttle or speed. These complex devices, however, can be scrambled ... Read More

Hormone may hold key to brain injury recovery

For decades, big pharmaceutical companies have spent untold millions researching drugs that will assist in the recovery of traumatic brain injury, or TBI. Now, new research shows that the answer may have been there all along. Emory University in Atlanta has finished a small 100-person trial of the female hormone progesterone in patients who have sustained a TBI, and the results look promising. Emory’s TBI trial was designed mainly to test the safety of the progesterone treatment. But doctors not only found that the hormone had no serious side effects on patients, they discovered that the patients who had received ... Read More

OSHA tells 15,000 employers to improve workplace safety

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) said it is notifying the owners and managers of about 15,000 workplaces that their rate of employee injury is exceedingly high compared to other similar companies. OSHA uses data, known as the DART rate (Days Away, Restrictions and Transfers) to determine which businesses have the highest number of illnesses and injury resulting in days away from work, restricted work activities, or job transfers. OSHA sent each of the 15,000 businesses a standard letter and included a report of the illness and injury data that prompted the notification. “Receipt of this letter means ... Read More

Mobile power packs recalled by Tumi due to fire hazard

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with manufacturer Tumi, today announced a voluntary recall of about 5,000 Mobile Power Packs used to charge small electronic devices including mobile phones, MP-3 players, Blackberries and PDAs, citing a risk of fire hazard. Consumers should stop using recalled products immediately unless otherwise instructed. ... Read More

Traffic fatalities fall for fourth consecutive year

At a time when the news is full of reports of cars accelerating out of control and crashing, drivers texting behind the wheel and car roofs crushed in deadly rollovers, here’s some welcome news: the number of people killed in U.S. traffic accidents is the lowest since 1954. According to the Transportation Department’s estimates, the total number of traffic deaths in the U.S. fell nearly nine percent last year from 37,261 to 33,963. The latest numbers represent the continuation of a downward trend that has been in place since 2005, when annual traffic fatalities peaked at 43,510. Transportation Secretary Ray ... Read More

Toyota sacrificed quality in its race to become number one

When Toyota’s former president Katsuaki Watanabe met with American investors for the first time, he bragged about the accomplishments he made in his three short months with the company. Assuming the reigns of the world’s second-largest car company (GM was number one at the time), Watanabe wanted to be the leader who made Toyota number one, and he succeeded. But now the veil is being pulled from the successful legacy Watanabe so proudly designed and showcased, exposing an alarming betrayal of all the very things that made Toyota great — its dedication to quality, the reliability and safety of its cars, ... Read More

FDA warns of counterfeit surgical mesh

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is warning health care professionals, hospital personnel and patients that counterfeit flat sheets of polypropylene surgical mesh are being marketed in the United States and labeled with the C.R. Bard/Davol brand name. Four products have been identified to date as not being Bard-manufactured products. These products are used to reinforce soft tissue where weakness exists in the repair of hernias and chest wall defects. The recalled products include specific lots of Bard Flat Mesh 2” x 4”, Bard Flat Mesh 10” x 14”, Bard Flat Mesh 3” x 6”, and Bard Flat Mesh 6” ... Read More

Local anesthetics add warning to label; risk of chondrolysis

Several local anesthetics have added warnings on their labels notifying health care professionals that using the drugs in intra-articular devices, or pain pumps, following arthroscopic and other surgical procedures is not approved and has been linked to cases of a painful and debilitating condition of the shoulder joint known as chondrolysis, according to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Drug Safety report for February 2010. The cases of chondrolysis were reported in both pediatric and adult patients following intra-articular infusions of the anesthetics with and without epinephrine, a hormone neurotransmitter, for 48 to 72 hours following surgery. Chondrolysis occurs when ... Read More

Erectile Dysfunction drug now warns of risk of SJS

The commercials for the erectile dysfunction (ED) drug Cialis (tadalafil) say an everyday moment can turn romantic at a moment’s notice. But there’s nothing sexy about the new warning on the drug’s label. According to the February 2010 issue of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Drug Safety Labeling report, the drug carries a risk of hypersensitivity reactions, including Stevens Johnson Syndrome (SJS). Cialis is a prescription medication to treat ED, a medical condition for men who have occasional problems getting or maintaining an erection. An estimated 30 million men are affected by ED. While the most common side effects ... Read More