Chinese Poison Drywall Creates Sulfuric Acid Inside Homes

Chinese Poison Drywall Creates Sulfuric Acid Inside Homes

You know what would make for some good drywall? The waste materials from scrubbers on coal-fired power plants. That’s apparently what some Chinese manufacturers thought during the housing boom. When they leak and combine with the moisture on AC coils, the result is sulfuric acid, according to complaints by some Floridian homeowners. The acid dissolves the coils on the AC units and in some cases the units fail. Imagine what it does to your lungs.

New Toy Safety Rule Has Collateral Damage: Handmade Toy Manufacturers

New Toy Safety Rule Has Collateral Damage: Handmade Toy Manufacturers

Thanks to big companies like Mattel, this may be the last Christmas season for a lot of handmade or custom toys from small businesses.

Some Outsourced Dental Implants Test Positive For Lead

Some Outsourced Dental Implants Test Positive For Lead

If you’re getting dental implant work done, you may want to ask if they outsource to other countries. A KPHO investigation bought 13 crowns from labs in China, Thailand and the US. Ten of them came back positive for lead, with levels from 110 parts per million to 240 parts per million. The problem may be from the surface stain used to whiten and brighten the teeth. Throughout history, lead has been used in paints because it’s bright, cheap, and highly durable.

Mattel's Toy Blood Pressure Cuff's Paint Was About 5% Lead

Mattel's Toy Blood Pressure Cuff's Paint Was About 5% Lead

Just how much lead was in that toy blood pressure cuff Mattel were so reluctant to recall back in February? The one they said “me federal regulations and international consumer product safety standards?” Well, a reader’s scientist friend working in lab tested it on the equipment there. According to his results, the amount of lead in the paint was 4-5% lead by weight. “For reference,” he writes, “U.S. EPA HUD guidelines set the action limit for paint at 0.5% lead by weight. Any level over 0.5% is considered to be contaminated…Lead paint used on houses 50 years ago had lead content of 2-15%.”

Keep Your Eye On $24 Million Recalled Pet Food Class Action

Keep Your Eye On $24 Million Recalled Pet Food Class Action

If you bought, or your pet ate, pet food recalled after March 17, 2007, keep tabs on this $24 million settlement. This would be the pet food purposely cut with melamine, a (poisonous) byproduct of coal production, because it made the food look it was higher in protein and was cheaper than actual protein. The case is called Re: Pet Food Products Liability Litigation, MDL Docket No. 1850, Civil Action No. 07-2867 (NLH). The final hearing is on October 14, 2008. The final date for submitting a claim form will be November 24, 2008. To see if you’re eligible, check the list of recalled products affected by the settlement (PDF). Food by Nestle-Purina, Royal Canin, Sierra Pet products, Chenangono Valley Pet Food, CJ Foods, Diamond Pet Food, Hill’s, American Nutrition, and Del Monte are on the list. Claim forms and more can be found at PetFoodSettlement.com.

FDA Believes Heparin Contamination Was Intentional

FDA Believes Heparin Contamination Was Intentional

The New York Times reports that the FDA is now working under the assumption that the deadly contamination of heparin was intentional. In her prepared testimony before a congressional subcommittee, Janet Woodcock, director of the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation said,

FDA’s working hypothesis is that this was intentional contamination, but this has not been proven.

More details, inside…

Senate Votes For Safer Products, Approves Consumer Product Safety Commission Overhaul

Senate Votes For Safer Products, Approves Consumer Product Safety Commission Overhaul

The Senate finally voted last week to send the ailing Consumer Product Safety Commission desperately needed funds, staff, and powers. The overdue reform bill passed with bipartisan support on a 79-13 vote.

Pokemon Valentine's Day Lollipops Should Not Contain Razor Blades

Pokemon Valentine's Day Lollipops Should Not Contain Razor Blades

A 10-year-old elementary school student found a razor blade in the Pokemon lollipop he was about to hand to his sister. Dollar General, which sold the lollipop for $1, immediately recalled the remaining Pokemon Valentine Cards and Pops from its 8,300 stores, but they are concerned that “most of this candy has already been purchased.”

Thomas The Tank Engine Makers Settle Class Action With Free Toys

Thomas The Tank Engine Makers Settle Class Action With Free Toys

Thomas the Tank Engine makers have settled a class-action-lawsuit against for $30 million, stemming from their production of anthropomorphic toy trains brought to life with lead-tainted paint. Under the terms, RC2 will give cash refunds or replacement toys, plus a “bonus” toy. Hopefully this time RC2 will check to make sure the apology choo-choos aren’t lead-tainted as well.

Chinese Exporters Use Kosher Certification To Quell Food Safety Concerns

Chinese Exporters Use Kosher Certification To Quell Food Safety Concerns

Kosher certification is the new darling of health-conscious consumers who misguidedly believe that biblically blessed health standards can reign in the excesses of commercial food production. Even Chinese exporters are betting that kosher certification can convince foreign consumers that their wares are safe. To companies, certification is just a marketing tool: it lends the aura of safety without offering any actual food safety benefits.

Many Chinese companies were unfamiliar with the concept: One furniture maker asked for kosher certification, drawing a polite rebuff. Another facility asked to get certified as kosher even though it was smoking eel on site, a kosher no-no. The company was turned down; it is now building a separate, kosher-only facility.

CPSC Wants To Make Retailers Test Products They Sell

CPSC Wants To Make Retailers Test Products They Sell

If pending legislation passes, the CPSC may make retailers test their wares, and make retailers legally responsible for the products they sell. CPSC chair Nancy Nord said yesterday at a press conference, “the ultimate responsibility at the end of the day to make sure that their products are safe and if they do not, we will take enforcement activity at the product sellers.”

Walmart Is Still Selling Recalled Lead-Tainted Bibs

Walmart Is Still Selling Recalled Lead-Tainted Bibs

Walmart is still selling lead-tainted Baby Connection bibs that were recalled last May. Reader Jeff made the discovery after his wife accidentally purchased two packs of recalled bibs for their 4-month-old daughter while vacationing in the Poconos.

Breaking News: There Are Sweatshops In China!

Breaking News: There Are Sweatshops In China!

Economists and politicians rant about China in terms of jobs lost, currency valuation, and trade gaps. But the New York Times reports that a new metric has been discovered: every year, Chinese workers manufacturing our toys, garments and electronic junk in the Peal River Delta collectively break 40,000 fingers.

Toy Industry Association Will Announce New Safety Plan In February

Toy Industry Association Will Announce New Safety Plan In February

Well we’re glad that’s taken care of. Wait… the Toy Industry Association is a trade group, not a federal agency! At any rate, on February 1st the Toy Industry Association, a 500-member strong group, will “release a draft of tough new safety rules, which include a plan to require manufacturers to test toys for hazardous chemicals and defective designs.” According to CNN, the group is drafting the 3-point plan with at least the awareness, if not the help, of the CPSC, and it hopes to have the plan formally certified as the CPSC’s “new standard for toy safety.”

Country Of Origin Labeling Expanded To Chickens, Macadamia Nuts, And Goat Meat

Country Of Origin Labeling Expanded To Chickens, Macadamia Nuts, And Goat Meat

Ever wonder where your goat meat came from? No? Well several Senators did, so their chamber’s version of the farm bill extends country of origin labeling to chickens, macadamia nuts, and goat meat. The labels, which are already required for beef, pork, lamb, peanuts, fresh fruits, and vegetables, should appear by late next year.

http://consumerist.com/2007/12/12/china-will-allow-us-food/

China will allow US food inspectors to be posted inside its factories. No doubt the factory owners will adapt by processing food outside the factory. [NYT]

http://consumerist.com/2007/12/11/china-and-us-sign-product/

China and US sign product safety pact. Lucky thing they got that one banged out before Christmas. [AP]

http://consumerist.com/2007/12/06/recalls-starbucks-fusion-coffee-mugs/

Recalls: Starbucks Fusion Coffee Mugs (burn), Home Depot Holiday Figurines (lead), Scope Apparel Boys’ Hooded Sweatshirts with Drawstrings (strangulation), RC2 First Years 3-in-1 Flush and Sounds Potty Seats (lead), RC2 First Years Newborn-to-Toddler Reclining Feeding Seats (falling), Sears Personal Identity-brand V-neck sweaters with hood (strangulation), Basic Editions-brand girls’ clothing sets (entrapment, strangulation), TKS-brand children’s pants (entrapment), Collins International Oscillating Ceramic Heaters sold at Menards (fire), Polaris Ranger RZR 800 EFI Utility Vehicles (fire, burn), Bowflex® Ultimate 2 Home Gyms (injury).