Fireworks: Family Fun or Safety Hazard?

Fireworks are erupting in Ohio—political fireworks, that is. In recent years, state legislators have been hearing from advocates on both sides of the fireworks debate. Some feel that fireworks are too dangerous, and cite their life-altering impact on consumers, including severe eye injuries, loss of limbs, and even death. Manufacturers, on the other hand, are lobbying to legalize more consumer fireworks in Ohio.

firework-new-year-s-eve-rocket cropped

Last year, Danial Peart of Phantom Fireworks in Youngstown, Ohio told lawmakers that legalizing bottle rockets and other consumer-grade fireworks would lead to greater fireworks safety education. “History has shown that with a focused education campaign, legalizing consumer fireworks use actually decreases injuries to the consumer,” he said.

Dr. Gary Smith, director of the center for injury research and policy at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, sees things in a very different light. “There is no safe way to use backyard fireworks,” Smith said. “Every type of legally available consumer firework has been associated with serious injury or even death.”

Most Dangerous Fireworks

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, 11,400 injuries due to fireworks were treated in U.S. emergency departments in 2013. Of those, more than half occurred in the 30 days surrounding Independence Day. Small fireworks, like bottle rockets, sparklers, and small firecrackers can appear harmless to kids. However, children younger than 15 years of age accounted for nearly half of all fireworks-related injuries.

Sparklers can burn at 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit or hotter. That’s as hot as a blowtorch! In 2013, there were an estimated 2,300 emergency department-treated injuries associated with sparklers

Small firecrackers are especially dangerous to kids, who may try to light the explosives in their hand or relight “duds.” Hand and finger injuries account for 32 percent of all injuries.

Roman candles can cause serious eye injuries, including corneal abrasions.

Bottle rockets may seem like innocent fun, but they can also inflict eye damage and account for 70 percent of injuries to bystanders.

Fireworks Safety Tips

If you do decide to buy legal fireworks, be sure to take the following safety steps:

  • Never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks.
  • Avoid buying fireworks that come in brown paper packaging; often, this can be a sign that the fireworks were made for professional displays and could pose a danger to consumers.
  • Never have any portion of your body directly over a fireworks device when lighting the fuse.
  • Move away to a safe distance immediately after lighting.
  • Never try to re-light or pick up fireworks that have not gone off or fully functioned.
  • Never point or throw fireworks at another person.
  • Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy in case of fire or other mishap.
  • Light one item at a time, and then move away quickly.
  • After fireworks have gone off and fully functioned, douse the spent device with plenty of water from a bucket or hose before discarding, to prevent a trash fire.
  • Make sure fireworks are legal in your area before buying or using them.

Ohio Consumer Fireworks Laws

Although you may buy consumer (1.4G) fireworks from a licensed wholesaler or manufacturer, you cannot discharge any consumer fireworks (firecrackers, bottle rockets, etc.) in the State of Ohio. [ORC § 3743.65(B)] You must transport all fireworks purchased in Ohio out of the state within 48 hours of the purchase. The only items that can be used in Ohio are designated “trick and novelty” which smoke, pop, and/or sparkle. [ORC § 3743.80]

 

Sources:

Bill legalizing fireworks in Ohio clears Senate panel” by Jackie Borchardt, Cleveland Plain Dealer, December 9, 2014.

2013 Fireworks Annual Report: Fireworks-Related Deaths, Emergency Department-Treated Injuries, and Enforcement Activities During 2013” by Yongling Tu and Demar V. Granados, U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, Washington DC, June 2014.

Airbags Exploding Like IEDs – Car Occupants Hit with Shrapnel

In an urgent message to consumers, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has recalled millions of vehicles due to defective airbags, which can spontaneously explode and seriously harm passengers.

According to government officials, owners of affected Toyota, Honda, Mazda, BMW, Nissan, Ford, Chrysler, Mitsubishi, Subaru and General Motors vehicles should take “immediate action” to replace defective airbags, produced by Japanese manufacturer, Takata. The message is especially urgent for drivers in warm climates with high humidity.

In an interview with ABC News, auto safety expert Sean Kane said the problem with the Takata airbags is its internal inflator.

“[It’s] the canister which sits in the center of the airbag, it’s like a metal can,” Kane said. “When that’s ignited, it’s overpressurizing the canister and the canister is exploding, much like an IED [improvised explosive device], and sending shrapnel into the occupants of the vehicle.”

Kane also said that the explosions have resulted in “severe lacerations” and caused at least four deaths.

On its website, the NHTSA lists more than 7.8 million vehicles with model years from 2000 to 2006 – as well as the 2011 Honda Element — that have been subject to related recalls over the past two years and strongly urges owners to take them to their dealers immediately.

Failure to Warn

In an article dated September 11, 2014, The New York Times revealed that Honda and the airbag supplier have known about this life-threatening flaw for at least a decade:

The danger of exploding air bags was not disclosed for years after the first reported incident in 2004, despite red flags — including three additional ruptures reported to Honda in 2007, according to interviews, regulatory filings and court records.

In each of the incidents, Honda settled confidential financial claims with people injured by the air bags, but the automaker did not issue a safety recall until late 2008, and then for only a small fraction — about 4,200 — of its vehicles eventually found to be equipped with the potentially explosive air bags.

Consumers who are uncertain whether their vehicle is impacted by the Takata recalls, or any other recall, can check on www.safercar.gov/vinlookup. On the site, you can search for recalls by vehicle identification number (VIN) and sign-up for NHTSA recall alerts, which go out before recall letters are mailed by the manufacturers to the affected owners.

Sources:

Halsey, Ashley, III. “Airbag Defect Spurs Recall of 4.7 Million Vehicles.” Washington Post, October 20, 2014. Web. Accessed October 21, 2014.

Tabuchi, Hiroko. “Air Bag Flaw, Long Known to Honda and Takata, Led to Recalls.” The New York Times, September 11, 2014. Web. Accessed October 21, 2014.

Is Your Doctor Giving You Fake Drugs?

It seems that even doctors can fall prey to the same counterfeit drug scams that have plagued consumers. We received an email today, which announced the FDA has launched a new website, warning health care professionals about a growing trend: Fake drug distributors.

“There is a growing network of rogue wholesale drug distributors selling potentially unsafe drugs in the U.S. market,” read the email. The new website,“Know Your Source,” advises healthcare professionals to only purchase  prescription drugs from licensed wholesale distributors.

Too little, too late?

FDA: Know your sourceWhile we applaud the efforts of the FDA to combat this problem – fake drugs undoubtedly pose a serious risk to patients – the problem is anything but new. In a letter dated December 19, 2012, the FDA notified medical practices they may have received unapproved medications. According to the FDA, “These medications may be counterfeit, contaminated, improperly stored and transported, ineffective, and/or unsafe.”

In fact, consumers have been warned about counterfeit drugs for years, with “Canadian” distributors at the forefront of the problem. So, how is it that doctors are unaware of these scams—many of which appear to be rather obvious. For example, one flyer on the website warns doctors to “Beware of Offers Too Good to be True” and that, “Aggressive marketing tactics and deep discounts on prescription drugs may indicate that the products are stolen, counterfeit, substandard, or unapproved.”

The FDA also shared these rather common-sense signs that a drug may be fake:

  • The label is not in English.
  • The packaging looks slightly different from the FDA-approved product
  • The product names differs from the name of the FDA-approved drug
  • The dosing recommendations are unfamiliar
  • Safety information or warnings are missing
  • The dosage form or administration is different

How can we, as consumers, protect ourselves?

When a doctor administers medication in the office, you probably won’t see the packaging. A nurse may hand you a pill or give you a shot. So how can you be sure they received the medicine from a reliable distributor? ASK.

Don’t be shy about asking your doctor questions regarding your medication

  • Ask where the medication came from. While it is not a guarantee, medicines are generally safe if your doctor purchased them directly from the manufacturer or a state-licensed wholesale drug distributor.
  • Ask for a copy of the package insert, detailing the possible side effects and other important safety information.
  • Tell your doctor if you experience unusual side effects or if the medication doesn’t seem to be working. These may be signs of counterfeit medication. 

Remember, while most prescription drugs in the United States are safe, it is important to be a vocal advocate for yourself and your loved ones.

 

 

Resources:

FDA warns doctors to beware fake drug distributorsModern Healthcare /Associated Press, September 23, 2104

The Possible Dangers of Buying Medicines over the Internet” FDA.gov, January 26, 2011.

Grill Safely this Summer

july_article2Whether you like burgers and dogs, barbecue chicken or even grilled veggies, please remember to grill safely!

Safety Tips

  • Always read the owner’s manual before using the grill. Don’t assume a new grill works the way your old one did!
  • Propane and charcoal grills should only be used outdoors
  • Place the grill well away from your home, deck railings and out from under eaves and overhanging branches
  • Never attempt to move a hot grill
  • Have a fire extinguisher handy and know how to use it
  • Keep children and pets away from the grill area
  • Keep your grill clean by removing grease or fat buildup from the grills and in trays below the grill
  • Never leave your grill unattended once it is lit

Propane Grills

While all grills can be dangerous, propane grills account for the majority of home fires. Be sure to check the gas tank hose for leaks before using it for the first time each year. Apply a light soap and water solution to the hose. A propane leak will release bubbles.

If you notice your grill has a gas leak, by smell or the soapy bubble test, and there is no flame, turn off the gas tank and grill. If the leak stops, get the grill serviced by a professional before using it again. If the leak does not stop, call the fire department.

If you smell gas while cooking, immediately get away from the grill and call the fire department. Do not move the grill.

Charcoal Grills

  • There are several ways to get the charcoal ready to use. Charcoal chimney starters allow you to start the charcoal using newspaper as a fuel.
  • If you use a starter fluid, use only charcoal starter fluid. Never add charcoal fluid or any other flammable liquids to the fire.
  • Keep charcoal fluid out of the reach of children and away from heat sources.
  • If you use an electric charcoal starter, be sure to use an extension cord designed for outdoor use.
  • When you are finished grilling, let the coals completely cool before disposing in a metal container.

Grilling can be fun, but use common sense and always remember to follow local ordinances and rules set forth by your home owner’s association or property manager. For example, most local fire codes prohibit grilling on a balcony. A Pennsylvania man found out firsthand what happens when you don’t follow the rules. An insurance company filed a lawsuit seeking more than $1.2 million in damages after he started a massive fire while grilling at his apartment complex.

Hidden Ingredients in Food and Weight Loss Supplements

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is advising consumers not to purchase or use several weight loss products sold on various websites and in some retail stores. These fraudulent products can cause serious injury or even death.

“These products are masquerading as dietary supplements—they may look like dietary supplements but they are not legal dietary supplements,” says Michael Levy, director of FDA’s Division of New Drugs and Labeling Compliance. “Some of these products contain hidden prescription ingredients at levels much higher than those found in an approved drug product and are dangerous.”

Sibutramine

According to the FDA, some foods and dietary supplements marketed for weight loss contain sibutramine, a controlled substance that was removed from the market in October 2010 for safety reasons. The products pose a threat to consumers because sibutramine is known to substantially increase blood pressure, pulse rate and may present a serious risk for consumers with a history of coronary artery disease, congestive heart failure, arrhythmias, or stroke. These products may also cause deadly interactions with medications you may be taking.

Dangerous products

Sliming Diet By Pretty White
Sliming Diet By Pretty White

Sliming (sic) Diet By Pretty White is marketed as a weight loss supplement. The manufacturer claims the capsules can “decompose extra fat and reduce weight” and that “it also nourishes the skin, beautify and whiten skin and make the skin more elastic.”

Lipo 8 Burn SlimLipo 8 Burn Slim is touted as a “slimming pill from Switzerland.” Its manufacturer claims the pills can help consumers lose up to 8 kg (17 lbs.) a month and that it “acts as an active cholesterol & fat burning agent.”

24 Ince, an instant coffee, claims to aid in weight loss by “reducing glucose, fats and cholesterol level” in the bloodstream.24 ince

 

Trim-Fast Slimming Softgel is marketed as a miracle pill, which promises to suppress one’s appetite, reduce fat accumulation, “release fat reserves” and even prevent wrinkles by “accelerating the metabolism of the skin, delaying the aging thereof.”

 

mix fruit slimming
Mix Fruit Slimming

Mix Fruit Slimming promises to be a “100% Natural Herbal New Slimming Pill Without Any Side Effects. Rapidly, fat eliminating, abdomen smoothing, and thigh slimming.”

 

 

Lingzhi Cleansed Slim Tea is widely available on the internet. Advertisements indicate the tea will help with weight loss by speeding up metabolism, “repress sugar absorption,” “treat constipation,” remove toxins, and even treat bad breath.

Sadly, these are just a handful of products among hundreds of supplements and conventional foods found to contain undeclared ingredients. The FDA has begun compiling a list of tainted supplements, but it is far from complete.

Use Caution When Buying Fireworks

fireworks1If you’re thinking about buying fireworks to add some excitement to your 4th of July celebration in Ohio, think again. First and foremost, aside from sparklers and other small novelty items, fireworks are illegal for personal use in Ohio. While you can buy other types of fireworks in Ohio, all fireworks must be transported outside the state within 48 hours of purchase. Despite these laws, many Ohioans choose to set off a wide variety of fireworks, with some “backyard” displays rivalling city events.

Liability

So, what happens if your illegal fireworks display injures someone? If you break a law and your actions result in the injury of another, you may be found liable for damages under a legal doctrine known as “negligence per se.” This means if a jury finds that you violated a law and the violation was a substantial factor in causing the injury to the plaintiff, the judge will instruct the jury that they must presume you were negligent – giving a huge advantage to the injured plaintiff.

Check out our YouTube video for more information about negligence per se.

How frequently do accidents happen? The Consumer Products Safety Commission estimates that there were eight deaths and 11,400 people went to emergency rooms for treatment of fireworks-related injuries in 2013 alone. Most of the accidents occurred within 30 days of Independence Day.

Beware of Illegal Explosives

All consumer fireworks are regulated by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and may carry a charge of no more than 50 milligrams of powder. Homemade fireworks and other illegal explosives carry special risks due to their unknown composition and unpredictability. These devices do not meet safety standards, may carry more than 20 times the permissible powder load, and often have a coating of dangerous explosive dust. Friction, heat, or even being bumped can cause these devices to detonate.

Homemade explosives can pose a particular risk for injury because the people making them often lack knowledge and experience in manufacturing fireworks. Most law enforcement agencies consider devices such as M-80s, M-100s, quarter sticks, cherry bombs, silver salutes, etc., to be illegal because they exceed CPSC limits for consumer fireworks, in addition to being banned by many States.

Remember, all fireworks must carry a warning label describing necessary safety precautions and instructions for safe use. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) warns consumers not to use illegal fireworks. Some indicators that a device may be an illegal explosive are:

  • It is sold on the street or out of the back of someone’s vehicle.
  • It resembles a roll of coins with a fuse.
  • It consists of a cardboard tube or oddly shaped item wrapped in brown paper and filled with an explosive material.
  • It is red, silver, or brown in color
  • It may be 1 to 6 inches long and up to an inch or more in diameter.

The ATF asks that the public report the manufacture or sale of illegal fireworks or explosive devices to local law enforcement or by calling the toll-free ATF hotline at 1-888-ATF-BOMB (1-888-283-2662).

All of us at Elk & Elk wish you and your family a very happy and safe 4th of July weekend.

Vehicle Recalls Abound

Recently, General Motors has been the subject of extensive media attention and congressional hearings amid allegations the car manufacturer covered up a dangerous ignition switch defect that has been linked to 31 crashes and 13 deaths. However, GM isn’t the only auto manufacturer experiencing problems.

The Motley Fool writes:

“Meanwhile, competitors in the automotive industry are taking advantage of General Motors’ massive recall by scheduling recalls of their own, knowing the media spotlight will remain focused on GM.”

Vehicle Recalls

Chrysler also recently announced a worldwide recall of nearly 870,000 Jeep Grand Cherokees and Dodge Durangos to address problems with the brake system.

Ford issued two recalls involving nearly 435,000 vehicles. The first recall affects nearly 386,000 Ford Escape SUVs to fix rusty frame parts. The second recall warns consumers to replace improperly welded seat back frames on 49,000 cars, including the Ford Fusion, Lincoln MKZ, Ford Escape, and C-Max vehicles.

Toyota has announced the recall of 2.34 million vehicles in North America (6.39 million vehicles worldwide) due to several separate issues, including seats not locking properly, airbags not deploying, and faulty windshield wipers. The recall spans 27 Toyota models including the RAV4 SUV, Yaris, Corolla and Camry.

New Mandatory Recall Mailing Label

When sorting through your mail, sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference between a legitimate manufacturer’s recall and junk mail. To address this issue, the NHTSA now requires all auto manufacturers to use a distinctive label, notifying owners of recalled vehicles or equipment.

“Recalls only work if consumers are aware of them,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “This new label will allow consumers to quickly recognize recall notices mailed to their homes so they can act quickly to get their vehicles, child restraints, tires, or other motor vehicle equipment fixed.”

NHTSA Recall Label

 Consumers can also receive relevant notifications by utilizing a variety of online tools, such as:

  • Email notifications  – Receive updates when register your cars, tires and car seats.
  • Mobile Alerts – NHTSA’s Safercar mobile app sends recall information directly to Android and iPhone users and is available for both Apple devices and Android devices, or RSS feed. It provides information on crash test ratings and child seat installation locations.
  • Check for Open Recalls on Used Cars – The NHTSA’s website, www.safercar.gov, provides a general search tool to help consumers identify recalls that may affect their vehicle. Later this year, a VIN look-up will be available on the site when a new NHTSA mandate goes into effect making it easier for consumers to access this information.

Remember, no matter how you hear about a vehicle recall, don’t ignore it—follow up with your dealer.

Death of 2 Children Renews Storage Chest Concerns

Officials warn of dangers associated with storage, cedar, hope and toy chests

It seems you can’t go more than a few days without hearing about the recall of a car, toy, or other product, and it may be a bit overwhelming. However, here at Elk & Elk, we post news of numerous recalls in our blog and through social media accounts like Facebook and Twitter to help keep you safe and warn the public about dangerous products – and for good reason.

Lane chest dangers
Lane Cedar Chest – photo courtesy of CPSC

The deaths of two young children have reignited decades-old concerns about product that was first recalled nearly 30 years ago. The Boston Globe reports that 8-year-old Lexi Munroe died due to suffocation along with her brother, Sean, 7, in January 2014 – their small bodies found inside a common storage chest.

Following the deaths of these siblings in Massachusetts, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is renewing its warning to consumers about the dangers associated with storage, cedar, hope and toy chests. Lids on millions of storage chests and trunks can automatically latch shut, locking children inside and suffocating them. In addition, the lid supports on older toy chests can fail to prevent the lid from closing suddenly, entrapping or strangling children by the head or neck.

Lane Cedar Chest Recall

In 1996, Lane Furniture issued the first recall of 12 million of its popular “Lane” and “Virginia Maid”-brand cedar storage chests, made between 1912 and 1987. Since the chests latch automatically when the lid is closed, young children playing in the chest can become trapped inside and suffocate. Between 1977 and 1994, six children died inside Lane cedar chests. The recall was re-announced four years later, with the company calling for a renewed search for the affected cedar chests to replace the locking mechanism.

Lane and Virginia Made Labels
“Virginia Maid” and “Lane” Brand Name Logos

Now, once again, Lane Furniture is asking the public to search their homes for these chests and is offering a free, easy to install, latch replacement kit.

Although dozens of companies have taken action to correct more than 14 million toy and storage chests that posed a risk to children, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has received reports of 34 deaths since 1996 involving children.

If you have a storage chest in your home, follow these important steps to protect your family

  • Consumers should remove the latch from the recalled Lane and Virginia Maid brand cedar chest made between 1912 and 1987 and contact Lane for free replacement hardware.
  • For all other chests that have not been recalled but have an automatic latch/lock, disable or remove the lock and check with the chest manufacturer to see if the manufacturer is offering replacement hardware.
  • If the lid support does not keep the lid open in every position, you should remove the lid’s support or replace it with a spring-loaded lid support that will keep the lid open in any position. Remove or replace an unsafe adjustable lid support on these toy chests.
  • All toy chests should have ventilation holes that are not blocked by the floor or against the wall.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission said in a press release that it is working with the National Association of Resale Thrift Shops (NARTS), Goodwill Industries, and the Salvation Army to take steps to ensure that resale store managers and staff do not accept or sell chests that have been recalled or pose a danger to children. Do not purchase or sell any recalled chest that has not been repaired.

To obtain a replacement latch, contact Lane Furniture at (800) 327-6944, Monday to Friday from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. CT, or access their web site at http://www.lanefurniture.com

 

Source: “Two Franklin children die after being trapped inside hope chest while playing” by Peter Schworm and John R. Ellement/Globe Staff, The Boston Globe, January 13, 2014.

Your Halloween contact lenses may be scarier than you think

Halloween contact lenses can cause serious eye injuries

(Updated 10/15/2015) – Those eerie contact lenses you saw online might seem like the perfect addition to your Halloween costume, but decorative contact lenses may limit your vision and can cause permanent damage to your eyes.

Also known as cosmetic or theatrical lenses, decorative contact lenses are used to change the look of your eyes, not to correct vision. Available in a wide range of styles, they can simply change the color of your eyes or create fantastic effects, such as cat eyes.

Study: Decorative contact lenses contain dangerous chemicals

The American Academy of Ophthalmology issued a warning about over-the-counter decorative contact lenses after a recent study revealed that several varieties tested positive for chlorine and other harmful chemicals.

“One pair seeped chlorine after a routine rinse, prompting concern from researchers about toxicity to the eye,” the ophthalmology academy wrote in a release. “The study also noted that colorants printed or pressed onto some decorative lenses create an uneven texture. Those rough surfaces could scratch the eyes, potentially allowing in bacteria that can cause infection and even blindness.”

Novelty lenses can limit vision

Another study, published in the British Journal of Ophthalmology, showed that some colored lenses make it difficult to see, especially in low light. Vision exams indicated people wearing contacts with a limited clear, open space around the pupil had difficulty focusing. Objects at a distance became blurrier and contrast was diminished, making it difficult to spot dark objects at night or pale items against a light background.

Halloween contact lens safety tips

You should never buy any contact lenses from a street vendor, a beauty supply store, flea market, novelty store, Halloween store or online if the site doesn’t require a prescription.

Wearing any contact lenses can cause serious damage to your eyes if the lenses are not used correctly. Decorative contacts can lead to eye pain, bacterial infections and corneal ulcers. One study found that the lenses increased by 16 times the risk of developing keratitis, a potentially blinding infection that causes ulcers in the eye.

Prevent Blindness Ohio offers the following safety tips regarding cosmetic contact lenses:
Always visit a licensed eye care professional to be fitted for cosmetic contact lenses.

  • Never buy contact lenses without a prescription.
  • Always clean and disinfect contact lenses according to instructions.
  • Always use water-soluble cosmetics or those labeled safe for use with contact lenses. Do not apply skin creams or moisturizers too close to the eyes.
  • Never wear opaque lenses if you have any problems with night vision.
  • Never share or trade your contact lenses with anyone.
  • Be watchful about your child’s or teen’s appearance. If they are wearing cosmetic contacts, question them about where they obtained them.

Feds seize illegal contact lenses

In 2013, the federal government warned consumers about the dangers associated with decorative contact lenses and began cracking down on illegal sales.

Contact lenses are actually medical devices and as such, are overseen by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).[1] In an ongoing effort – dubbed “Operation Double Vision” – the FDA and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials are working to seize counterfeit contact lenses and illegally imported decorative lenses.

That same year, Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine teamed with Prevent Blindness Ohio and the Ohio Optical Dispensers board to warn consumers about the dangers of decorative contact lenses.

“As we prepare for Halloween, we want to remind Ohio families that over-the-counter sales of decorative contact lenses are illegal,” DeWine said. “Contact lenses are medical devices, and if they are not administered properly, they can cause serious eye infections that can lead to permanent damage, including blindness.”

Buying Decorative Contact Lenses

You can buy contact lenses, including decorative contact lenses, from an eye care doctor, on the Internet or from a mail-order company. It’s very important that you only buy contact lenses from a company that sells FDA-cleared or approved contact lenses and requires you to provide a prescription.

Anyone selling you contact lenses must get your prescription and verify it with your doctor. They should request not only the prescription, but also the name of your doctor and their phone number. If they don’t ask for this information, they are breaking federal law and could be selling you illegal contact lenses.

Protect your eyes by having an eye exam, getting a prescription and buying contact lenses from a legal source.

For more information or to report the illegal sales of cosmetic contact lenses, contact the Ohio Optical Dispensers Board at (614) 466-9709 or www.optical.ohio.gov.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in October 2013 and has been updated with new content.

 

Sources

Ji, Yong Woo, et al. “Comparison of Surface Roughness and Bacterial Adhesion Between Cosmetic Contact Lenses and Conventional Contact Lenses.” Eye & contact lens 41.1 (2015): 25-33.

Jung, Ji Won, et al. “Effect of the pigment-free optical zone diameter of decorative tinted soft contact lenses on visual function.” British Journal of Ophthalmology (2015): bjophthalmol-2015.

 


 

[1] On November 9, 2005, section 520(n) was added to the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (the Act) by Public Law 109-96 to establish that all contact lenses are devices under section 201(h) of the Act. Because all contact lenses are now regulated as devices, including decorative, non-corrective contact lenses intended only to change the normal appearance of the eye, all contact lenses must be the subject of a cleared premarket notification (510(k)) or an approved premarket approval application (PMA) before they may be legally marketed. Additional device authorities, such as the requirement that lenses be dispensed only upon a prescription order, also apply.

 

Toyota Recall Due to Spiders?

Toyota is recalling over 800,000 vehicles worldwide because of electrical issues that may cause problems with airbag deployment.

Spider WebIn a press release, Toyota announced a recall of the 2012 and 2013 model years of the Camry, Camry Hybrid, Avalon, Avalon Hybrid, and Venza due to a problem with the air conditioning condenser unit housing. Toyota spokesperson Cindy Knight told CNN that spider webs in the vents could create a blockage, causing excess condensation.

The company says that water from the air conditioning condenser unit housing could leak onto the airbag control module and cause a short circuit. This may cause the air bag light to come on, render air bags inoperable, or even cause the driver’s side air bag to deploy inadvertently. Since air bags deploy so rapidly and caustic chemicals are used to inflate them, injuries such as burns, abrasions, as well as damage to hearing and vision may occur. Deployment may also cause broken nose, fingers, hands, or arms. Head, neck, and internal injuries are also a frequent casualty of airbag deployment.

Toyota reported there could also be a loss of power steering in some cases. This dangerous condition makes the steering wheel difficult to turn and limits a driver’s ability to steer the vehicle. To fix the problem, Toyota says its dealers will apply sealant and install a cover to the air conditioning condenser unit-housing seam located above the airbag control module.

Owners of the involved vehicles will be notified by first class mail to return their vehicles to a Toyota dealer for the repair. For more information, visit www.toyota.com/recall or phone Toyota customer service at 1-800-331-4331.

 

Source:Toyota recall: Spiders are causing airbag problems” by Schuyler Velasco, Christian Science Monitor, October 18, 2013.