Latest News

Switzerland investigates the death of young Yaz user

A Swiss health agency is investigating the death of a young woman in Switzerland who died while taking Bayer AG’s birth control pill Yaz. Bloomberg reported that Swissmedic (Switzerland’s drug therapy regulatory agency) and an investigative judge are probing the sudden death of the woman, whose autopsy revealed she died from the effects of a pulmonary embolism. Pulmonary embolisms are blockages in one of the arteries leading to the lungs formed by a substance that has migrated through the bloodstream from another part of the body, commonly the legs. Clinical studies of Yaz conducted in Denmark and the Netherlands suggest a ... Read More

FDA notifies public about changes to heparin potency

The blood thinner heparin will now include a new reference standard and test method that is used to determine the potency of the drug and detect impurities that may be present in it, according to a safety alert issued by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The change is effective as of October 1, 2009, and will harmonize the USP unit dose with the WHO International Standard unit does, which will result in an approximately 10 percent reduction in the potency of the heparin marketed in the United States. The alert was issued to pharmacists, physicians, hospital risk managers and ... Read More

Toyota officially recalls vehicles for unintended acceleration problem

Toyota Motor Corp. informed the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in a letter on Monday that it is formally recalling 3.8 million Toyota vehicles. The recall is an effort to correct the problem of Unintended Acceleration many drivers of Toyota vehicles have experienced. The car manufacturer suspects that improperly secured and mismatched car mats can interfere with the gas pedal, causing it to jam in full open position. The recall is Toyota’s largest recall ever and the sixth largest recall in the U.S., according to the NHTSA. According to Chris Santucci, Toyota’s assistant manager for technical and regulatory affairs, “there ... Read More

What should you do in a car that speeds out of control?

Toyota is telling drivers of certain Toyota and Lexus cars and trucks to remove their driver’s side floor mats immediately until the company can develop a solution to its floor mat problem. The company announced in its September 29 safety advisory that the accelerator pedal may become jammed in full open position when an “unsecured or incompatible floor mat” is used, causing the vehicle to accelerate unintentionally. Previously we have reported on this web site that some of the drivers who became caught in a runaway car were unable to remedy the situation. There’s the story of Bulent and Anne Ezal, ... Read More

TVA transports recovered coal ash to Alabama landfill at epic speed

The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) is clearing coal ash that spilled into the Emory River faster than originally anticipated, shipping it to a landfill in Alabama by the railcar load. The recovered coal ash is part of a more than billion-gallon spill from an impoundment pond at the TVA’s Kingston, Tenn., coal-firing plant last December. That spill, considered one of the largest environmental disasters in U.S. history, destroyed homes, damaged property, sickened residents, and left a deep scar on the county’s public image. Now that toxic material recovered from the river is shipping to the poor and predominantly black county ... Read More

3-year-old Alabama girl dies when ATV strikes a wire

Another child has been killed in an all-terrain vehicle accident in Alabama. According to Mobile and Pensacola area press reports, 3-year old girl London Johnson was riding on an ATV with her grandfather, Arthur Lee Rivers, 43, and Isces Johnson, 5 years old, Monday evening when the accident occurred. Reports say that Rivers was driving on a path near South Chestnut Street and East Franklin Avenue in the Beulah community southeast of downtown Foley when he struck a wire that had been strung across the path. London sustained serious neck injuries when she hit the wire and was pronounced dead ... Read More

60 Minutes report questions safety of coal ash byproducts

Lesley Stahl, a reporter for the CBS news program 60 Minutes, pressed a power industry lobbyist about whether coal ash byproducts are being used safely during a report on coal ash recycling practices Sunday. His answer was anything but straight. It’s no surprise. The byproducts from coal-burning utilities, coal ash and fly ash, are recycled and used as filler for numerous products in kitchen counters and carpeting in schools, to name a few. Coal ash has not considered a hazardous material, and thus coal-burning plants have not fallen under federal regulations. But since the country’s largest spill of coal ash ... Read More

Latest Toyota recall vindicates CA man accused of causing fatal crash

Guadalupe Gomez was driving his new 2007 Toyota Camry south on interstate 280 in San Jose, California, when his car began accelerating out of control. Racing down the busy highway at speeds of more than 100 mph, Gomez did all he could to avoid a catastrophic collision. He held down on his horn, pushed the ignition button repeatedly, kicked the accelerator, and switched gears — all while dodging traffic. Unfortunately, Gomez’s car didn’t stop until it collided with Troy Edwin Johnson’s Honda Accord. Johnson, a 39-year-old father of 5, burned to death when his car went up in flames. The ... Read More

Toyota to recall 3.8 million vehicles for dangerous floor mat defect

Toyota has announced it will recall 3.8 million vehicles in the United States as a result of a dangerous problem with the vehicle floor mats, which may interfere with the vehicle’s accelerator, causing uncontrolled accleration leading to loss of control of the vehicle and a crash. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is referring to this as an urgent matter. Affected vehicles include: 2007-2010 Camry 2005-2010 Avalon 2004-2009 Prius 2005-2010 Tacoma 2007-2010 Tundra 2007-2010 Lexus ES350 2006-2010 Lexus IS250 and IS350 The NHTSA and Toyota advise that car owners should immediately remove the driver’s side floor mat, and should not ... Read More

Will costly recovery, PR campaign improve Roane County’s image?

An east Tennessee county littered with more than a billion gallons of toxic sludge will spend $1 million of the $43 million given to it by the utility that damaged the adjacent land to clean up the community’s tattered image. The money was given to Roane County, Tenn., last month by the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) to help bolster the community’s public image and improve its infrastructure. The utility’s offering comes in the midst of a multi-year, $1 billion cleanup of hundreds of acres in the county that was damaged when a coal ash impoundment pond burst last December, sending ... Read More