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toxic 146 articles

Consumer group lobbies for stricter oversight of medical devices

Consumers Union (CU) is joining the fight to urge lawmakers to require stricter oversight of medical devices, especially since it says the current practice puts consumers, especially senior citizens, at risk for ongoing complications. CU is a nonprofit consumer watchdog that also publishes Consumer Reports magazine and ConsumerReports.org. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is charged with protecting the public health by assuring that foods are safe, wholesome, sanitary and properly labeled; and human and veterinary drugs, vaccines and other biological products and medical devices intended for human use are safe and effective. Foods are regularly checked, and drugs must ... Read More

Federal regulators intercepting more dangerous product imports at port

Federal regulations governing the safety of foreign-made products help keep U.S. consumers safe, but the fact remains that a number of dangerous and sub-standard products continue to find their way onto retail shelves and into consumers’ homes nationwide. In response to this continuing problem, the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) announced that it has stepped up regulatory efforts and interventions at several major U.S. ports of entry. CPSC staff have been working with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents to screen several thousands of product shipments entering the country. For example, the combined efforts of staff trained to ... Read More

NZ man never knew his hip implant could be poisoning him

New Zealand farmer Billy Heads figured aches and pains were common with hip replacements. For five years he suffered through occasional bouts where, he says, he walked like “an old cripple.” It wasn’t until he went for a routine five-year follow up doctor’s visit that he learned his hip implant had been recalled. And those “common” aches and pains he was suffering from were actually clues that his artificial hip was failing. In August 2010, DePuy Orthopaedics, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, issued a recall on its ASR XL Acetabulator hip replacement and resurfacing systems, a move that affected ... Read More

New study finds FDA's seafood-safety analysis 'flawed and unrealistic'

We seem to live in a time when it has become normal for big business interests and politicians, when confronted with a problem, to say one thing while a group of independent scientists and researchers studying the same problem reach an entirely different conclusion. While industry and their legislative allies grab headlines, the “other” voices are generally ignored or relegated to the fringe. There’s probably no finer example of this information war than the BP oil spill, which continues to plague the Gulf of Mexico, despite what all the commercials and government officials want you to believe. So while scientists ... Read More

Metal-on-metal hip implants suspected as source of pain for another patient

Patients needing hip replacement surgery should do their homework and avoid implants made with metal-on-metal parts, warns Tracie Ephgrave of the UK. “I just don’t want people to go through what I have,” she told the Gazette News.  In 2001, Tracie had a hip implant to help ease the pain and limited mobility she suffered from a form of arthritis she had as a child. She received a metal-on-metal implant designed to be more durable than traditional, ceramic models. But two years after receiving the implant, she heard a clunking in her hip joint. Soon after, her pain returned – with ... Read More

New breast cancer drug shows promise in clinical trials

A chemotherapy drug discontinued in the 1980s because it was too lethal to patients is showing promise when combined with another drug in the treatment of breast cancer. The combination drug pairs the cancer-retarding abilities of Roche Holding AG’s Herceptin with the chemotherapy drug maytansine into one drug called T-DM1.  In a study of 137 women with metastatic breast cancer, the women who had received T-DM1 had a 41 percent reduction in risk of their cancer worsening compared to women who used the more traditional Herceptin plus Taxotere. Breast cancer is the biggest cancer killer among women, with about 1.4 new ... Read More

U.S. issues new recommendations for dealing with toxic Chinese drywall

The U.S. government has revised its list of recommended measures to take when dealing with “problem drywall,” which it estimates to be installed in tens of thousands of homes throughout the United States. Thousands of homeowners who purchased homes built from 2005 to 2008, mostly in Florida and other parts of the Southeast, have complained of noxious fumes emitting from their walls, rendering their homes unlivable and unsellable. The problem has been linked to drywall imported from China, which contains a high percentage of sulfuric compounds harvested from industrial waste. The drywall releases hydrogen sulfide gas, which causes a range ... Read More

Two years after spill EPA unsure how to classify toxic coal ash

Two years after an impoundment pond containing toxic coal ash at a Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) fossil fuel plant broke, spilling a billion gallons of sludge onto 300 acres of rural east Tennessee, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) still isn’t sure whether to recommend that coal ash be classified as a hazardous material. Shortly after the spill, the agency was charged with recommending a classification for the material as part of a federal investigation into the environmental disaster. More than 400 people have filed a total of 55 lawsuits against the TVA. Several hundred more people are said to be ... Read More

Panel recommends FDA re-examine ruling on safety of mercury fillings

A Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advisory panel has recommended that the agency re-examine all relevant evidence that mercury-containing dental fillings, known as dental amalgams, are safe and do not put people at risk for mercury poisoning. In 2009, the FDA ruled the fillings were safe, but the panel recommended that the agency look at “not just certain studies, but all scientifically sound studies.” During a two-day meeting with the panel, consumer and dental groups argued that the FDA had based its ruling on flawed and insufficient data. They claim there is compelling evidence that the fillings may be toxic ... Read More

Chinese drywall maker to gut and repair 300 Southeastern US homes

Three hundred homeowners in Florida, Louisiana, Alabama, and Mississippi will have their homes gutted of toxic Chinese drywall and repaired, thanks to an agreement reached between lawyers representing the affected families, manufacturer Knauf Plasterboard Tianjin Co., and a number of drywall suppliers, home builders, and insurers. Tons of Chinese drywall entered the United States after the national construction boom and  Hurricane Katrina’s devastation of New Orleans created a shortage of domestically produced drywall. The corrosive, foul-smelling drywall from northeastern China made its way into thousands of homes of across the country, primarily in the South. Under the agreement, Knauf and the other ... Read More