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Consumer Reports Closes Out Child Passenger Safety Week

By Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyer on September 20, 2013

Tomorrow is the final day of National Child Passenger Safety Week, and we’ve been bringing you tips and information related to safety events throughout California over the course of the past few days.  We thought we’d use this last day of the week to close out the event in style, bringing you some final safety information as related in a new article from Consumer Reports.

The organization revisits those times in a child’s life that a switch to a different type of seat should be made, and parents absolutely must not jump the gun in this matter.  If used correctly and with a child of the appropriate size, the risk of a fatality among infants is reduced by 71%, while kids aged one to four see the risk reduced by 59%.

Your child needs to face rearward until they’ve reached about the age of two, with some consideration also given to your child’s size and height when you make the switch.  A forward-facing seat will then be the way to go until your child gets to be about 50 inches tall and up to 65 pounds in weight (actual range will depend on the directives of the manufacturer).  A booster seat will be the next step, at least until the seat belt can fit properly, which will typically be between eight and 12 years of age.

Finally, if you’re in the market for a new seat, visit Consumer Reports to see how various units fared in terms of safety.

Blind Spot Detection System Gets The OK From Consumer Reports

By Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyer on August 26, 2013

Blind spot warning technology is far from widespread.  Although many new automobiles carry such a system, older vehicles lack this potentially life-saving safety feature.  Consumer Reports, having noticed an increase in third party devices designed to monitor blind spots and warn drivers when an obstacle is detected, has put one such system to the test.  In the end, they come away more or less in support of the Goshers Blind Spot System.  Although the researchers pointed out that installation was somewhat complex (they advised getting a mechanic to carry out the operation) and that sensitivity was a bit much until adjustments were made, they vouched for its ability to visually and aurally warn of a blind spot threat.

Click here for more about the review.

Consumer Reports Analyzes Impact of Landmark Safety Measure

By Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyer on August 12, 2013

Consumer Reports has released a new article that analyzes the importance of a landmark initiative that sought to improve the safety of numerous types of products, especially those used by children.  The effects of that now five-year old law are still being felt today.

The report looks at the the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act, which has been in effect for five years starting this Thursday.  What’s perhaps shocking is that it took until 2008 before the key passages of the law came into being.  Consumer Reports points out that the hands of the Consumer Product Safety Commission were somewhat shackled prior to that time.  Limitations to the then-current regulatory landscape made things so that the CPSC was unable to crack down on heightened lead levels, unsafe children’s products, and more.

The threat of lead prior to the law’s passage should not be underestimated.  473 products designed to be used by kids were recalled the year prior to passage because they suffered from levels of lead that could be hazardous, and that number raised even higher in 2008.  Eight million toys in total were recalled that year.

One big reason why such products were allowed to the market in droves was because there simply was not an adequate safeguard in place to protect consumers from this hazard.  At the time, there was no requirement that products be tested for lead prior to reaching the market.  There also weren’t stringent limits on how much lead could actually be contained within a product.

But that all changed in 2008 with the passage of the CPSIA.  That law required that any item designed for kids must undergo testing prior to its release.  This testing must be carried out by an independent third party.  The level of lead that could trigger a safety alert was also reduced.

It wasn’t just lead that the law has had an influence on.  Other products designed for infants, such as strollers and cribs, were tasked with meeting new safety standards designed to limit the risk of entrapment, falling, and other hazards.  Consumer Reports explains that the CPSC is also looking into new safety measures for things like strollers, carriers, and more.

Finally, the law paved the way for the Safer Products website, which provides a repository of recalled items.  If someone suspect that a product in their possession suffers from a recall-worthy safety hazard, they can execute a simple search in order to determine if their suspicions are warranted.  And even if that search doesn’t turn up anything, it’s possible to make a report to the CPSC so that the necessary parties can look into that reported safety issue to determine if it’s indicative of an underlying threat.

Overheated Cellphone Batteries Deemed A Threat By Consumer Reports

By Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyer on June 26, 2013

Consumer Reports and a New York Senator are asking the Consumer Product Safety Commission to more closely investigate reports of exploding cellphones typically associated with off-brand batteries.

The issue has become more prominent over the past few years as 61 complaints have poured into the CPSC about the issue.  Those reports feature such occurrences as arcing, overheating, and more.  Although fires or an ensuing explosion are thought to be exceedingly rare, they can cause serious damage if they do occur.

Consumers Union believes that the risk can be greatly mitigated when cellphone owners invest only in those chargers and batteries that derive from the manufacturer of the phone itself.  In addition, the agency explains that cellphones and batteries should be kept away from intense heat or submersion in water.  The former can affect performance, especially if the phone is stored someplace like a hot car.  If you’re going near a pool, consider placing your phone in some type of waterproof bag or container.

When you drop your phone, the first thing you should do is open the battery compartment to look for any noticeable damage.  If you start using the phone anew, carefully monitor instances of the phone overheating.  Cease usage for a while if you fear it’s getting too hot and bring it in to a dealer for further investigation.

Consumer Reports Warns About Fire Hazard Posed By Dishwashers

By Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyer on June 4, 2013

In a recent report, Consumer Reports takes a look at the threat posed by dishwashers that turn out to be defective or otherwise lead a fire to break out.  The article was prompted by a recent incident that claimed the life of an individual from New Jersey, and Consumer Reports hopes that citizens across the country will understand the hazards posed by even common appliances if those items prove to be defective.

Last year, the organization actually conducted an investigation of those appliances which typically prompt a fire in the home, and the results are startling, especially for dishwashers.  Although a number of devices were apparently looked at, dishwashers were one of the appliances that stood out.  The agency discovered that upwards of 1,000 blazes had their genesis to a problem, typically electrical in nature, with the dishwasher.  The information was obtained by studying National Fire Incident Reporting System data.

Many of the defects that have led to these fires have also led to ensuing recalls.  Many of the recalls are particularly wide-ranging, and the Consumer Product Safety Commission has indicated that it’s going to be looking into why such defects seem to be increasingly commonplace.

In the meantime, you can encourage the safety of your own family by preparing for a fire.  Registering your dishwasher (or all other appliances) can ensure that you receive the proper notice when a recall is issued, but that doesn’t help if a defect presents before a notification is obtained.  Therefore, invest in such equipment as smoke alarms and fire extinguishers.

Protect Yourself When In The Path Of a Storm

By Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyer on May 29, 2013

Consumer Reports has come out with a piece that runs down the myriad steps one can take to ensure they’re going to be prepared for an imminent hurricane.  And although such a disaster isn’t likely to befall Los Angeles and the greater part of California anytime soon, much of the advice would be applicable to anyone who finds themselves in the path of a terrible storm.

If you live near the coast, or even if you’re inland, taking out some kind of flood insurance isn’t a bad idea.  According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, one in five homeowners who have to file a flood insurance claim are positioned in low or moderate risk areas.  Taking out the proper insurance can ensure that your finances are at least somewhat protected if heavy rains take their toll.

There are certain items you should have on hand that offer protection in the event of a potential flooding situation.  You want to approach matters as if you’ll lose power and be affected by floodwaters for three days or more.  Thus, you should stock up on bottled or otherwise clean water and non-perishable food items (along with a can opener if need be).  Radios and flashlights are a great idea, as are tools that can be used to shut off water and gas if you have to do so.

You should also prepare for circumstances in which a person gets hurt or trapped.  A first aid kit can ensure you’re ready to deal with at least minor injuries, and a whistle can help out if for some reason you or a family member gets entrapped and needs assistance.

You’re also going to want to take the steps necessary to ensure you have access to a phone.  A cellphone won’t always cut it.  Cell towers could go down, and you might not be able to charge your phone if power is out for quite some time.  Consider investing in an extra battery for such a phone, but realize that having a landline on hand is vital.  A landline can ensure you’re able to communicate with outside parties and officials, as they typically still work even after the power goes out.  Also make sure you have a phone with a cord, as cordless models may not work without power.

Also prepare your car for travel in case you have to leave your home for any amount of time after the storm hits (not during the storm, as this can be dangerous).  Keep an ample supply of gas in the tank, have adequate pressure in the tires, and consider investing in new wiper blades at the start of summer.  Stock the glove compartment with a phone charger, and be ready to take your family to safety when your home is compromised.

Study Shows Newborns Should Have Their Own Sleep Environment

By Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyer on May 23, 2013

Consumer Reports is directing citizens to a new study out of the United Kingdom which enforces the idea that babies are in greater danger of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome if they sleep in the same bed as their parents.

The research, which can be found in a publication called BMJ Open, took a look at nearly 1,500 cases of SIDS throughout the UK.  The study specifically analyzed those children who did not seem like they would be predisposed to the condition.  The parents in the cases studied generally abstained from drug usage, alcohol consumption, and smoking.  Researchers came to the conclusion that more than four out of five instances of SIDS could have been avoided if the newborn was placed in his or her own sleep environment.

This study aligns with recommendations previously offered by the American Academy of Pediatrics in 1992.  At that time, the organization proclaimed the advisability of placing  a child in his or her own crib.  In the years since, those directives have gone even further.  The AAP asks that parents place their kids on their backs.  Stuffed animals and blankets should be removed from the crib, and if parents still want to keep an eye on their children, then it’s acceptable to keep the crib in the same room as the parent.

Parents can also ensure safety by making sure their cribs meet the standards of the CPSC.

Consumer Reports Offers Additional Sunscreen Safety Tips

By Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyer on May 18, 2012

We’ve gotten the government’s stance on how to make sure that you’re staying safe from skin cancer, and now Consumer Reports is offering their two cents on what sunscreen to use and how to apply it.

In an effort to determine what products are best for consumers, the organization tested a total of 18 of the most popular sunscreens on the market.  What they found was that the Walgreens Continuous Spray Sport SPF 50 and No-Ad with Aloe & Vitamin E SPF 45 offered protection sufficient to allow them to gain a crucial “Best Buy” designation.  However, that’s not to say that other products were exactly slouches.  Seven items held up very well against UVA rays, met Food and Drug Administration mandated broad spectrum label specifications, and after 80 minutes of water immersion were classified as excellent against UVB rays.

Two items did not meet the requirements of a wavelength test.  These items were the Banana Boat Kids Tear-Free Sting-Free SPF 50+ and the Alba Botanica Natural Very Emollient Sunblock Sport SPF 45.

Consumer Reports also goes further, offering tips to ensure you’re getting the most bang for your buck.  They recommend that sunscreens should resist water and have an SPF of 30 or higher.  They also say that a person ought to use two or three tablespoons of sunscreen, and that spray products should not be used on children until after the FDA has had the chance to investigate risks associated with inhaling such a product.

High Levels Of Arsenic And Lead Allegedly Found In Juices, Consumer Reports Announces

By Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyer on November 30, 2011

Many different news sources have notified the last investigation launched by the Consumer Reports staffers regarding grape and apple juices purchased in New York, Connecticut and New Jersey.

According to the statement released by the agency, the levels of both lead and arsenic found in samples of both juices are higher than government permitted limits. There were 88 different samples that the Consumer Reports staffers set aside for testing. Results showed that 25 percent of all the samples had levels of lead that unfortunately were higher than 5 ppb limit for any bottled water allowed by the FDA and 10 percent presented levels of arsenic that surpassed the federal drinking-water standards.

The inorganic arsenic apprehended with the tests happens to be classified as a human carcinogen. Additional reports show that an analysis from the National Center for Health Statistics’ National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey suggesting such juices were tested and found to be some of the main sources of the arsenic found in the diets of survey contributors.

According to testimonials from several physicians, the chronic exposure to lead and arsenic may cause serious and even life-threatening health issues to consumers. The Consumer Reports agency urges the FDA to set clear standards for the presence of lead and arsenic in fruit juices in the U.S. so high levels of possibly hazardous substances can be kept away from consumers.

Any Los Angeles wrongful death attorney understands that regulations should be austere for food and beverages companies. As a personal injury lawyer in Los Angeles I hope that the FDA will investigate this matter thoroughly.

Recall Issued For Ocean Spray Craisins

By Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyer on November 28, 2011

The consumer reports news source has announced a new food product recall during the thanksgiving weekend.

Ocean Spray Company and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration agency are recalling the Craisins Dried Cranberries due to the possible existence of hair-like metal fragments in some Craisins’ lots.

The FDA has announced that up to this point, there hasn’t been any report of illnesses related to the presence of metal in the Ocean Spray Craisins products but that the alleged unlikeness of any consumer being injured because of this item shouldn’t keep the public from being informed.

According to the news article, the 5, 10 and 48 once bags of the Craisins Dried Cranberry manufactured by Ocean Spray are being recalled. The detailed lot numbers of all items that may contain metal fiber are listed in the recall announcement article.

Consumers should be adverted that Craisins packages with the letter ‘M’ stamped on the Best By date are the items that need to be taken back to the place of purchase.

As a Los Angeles personal injury lawyer, I realize that even if a certain issue with a product will not pose a serious risk to consumers and their loved ones, it is imperative that the company behind the contaminated or defected product will take responsibility for their mistakes.

Personal injury attorneys in Los Angeles urge readers to stay alert. Come back regularly to this blog so you’re always well informed about food and other products recall.

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