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“Killer” Consumer Products

Do you ever find yourself ‘dying’ for a little retail therapy? Whether it be the latest trendy item or mundane household necessities, there’s real danger to be found in your personal possessions. Here are four ‘killer’ products that wreaked havoc on the lives of consumers.

DRAWSTRING HOODIES

Drawstring Hoodie Death‘Hoodies’ are a favorite comfy clothing go-to for kids and adults alike. Often emblazoned with a favorite sports team’s logo or college mascot, hoodies are a perfect accompaniment to a cool spring morning or chilly fall afternoon. But for small children, the drawstrings often found in the hoods of these sweatshirts (and similarly designed jackets) can be deadly. The Consumer Product Safety Commision (CPSC) knows of 22 drawstring-related strangulation deaths between 1985 and 1999. Towards the end of that deadly decade and a half, in 1996, the CPSC first issued drawstring guidelines to clothing manufacturers. In 2006, the commission took it a step further, announcing that all children’s outerwear with hood or neck drawstrings would be classified as defective. And finally, in 2008, with the passing of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008, hoodie drawstrings were outlawed.

SUFFOCATING CRIBS

Killer CribFor parents on-the-go, keeping your infant safe, content and contained is certainly a challenge. Over the past few decades, companies like Simplicity and Playskool have introduced collapsible, portable playpens (and cribs) to accommodate such situations. In the worst cases, these devices have proved horrific. At least 19 children have died as a result of collapsing portable cribs. Simplicity has had an embarrassing run of recalls in the past few years. After an 8-month-old in Houston suffocated and died in a Simplicity portable crib, more than 400,000 drop-side cribs were recalled on July 2, 2009. In September 2008, there was another recall of 600,000 cribs. And in 2007, after two children suffocated and died, a million older-model cribs were recalled.

ENERGY DRINKS

Energy Drink DeathsEnergy drinks abound in every gas station, mini mart and grocery store. Red Bull, Rockstar, Monster and a dozen other knock off brands rake in billions and billions of dollars each year. But are they safe? Last year, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) began probing into that very question. The impetus of the FDA investigation was a wrongful death suit filed against Monster after a 14-year-old girl died of a cardiac arrhythmia caused by caffeine toxicity. She’d downed two 24-ounce Monster energy drinks that very day. It is only fair to note that even though the FDA is looking into the allegations, there is no proof that the energy drinks are directly responsible for any deaths or injuries.

PLASTIC MILK

Plastic Milk Deaths6 infant deaths. 54,000 infant hospitalizations. 300,000 victims. Those are the damning numbers behind the recall of 700 tons of baby formula by China’s largest milk powder provider, Sanlu. Manufacturers, two of whom were put to death for their role in the scandal, added melamine, a chemical used in plastic production, in order to cheaply and falsely boost protein levels in the powdered dairy products. The problem it seems was worldwide and species-wide. In 2007, the U.S. FDA recalled 60 million cans of pet food after 14 cats and dogs died from melamine ingestion.

Thankfully, the U.S. has groups like the CPSC and the FDA to help protect us. But still, it can’t hurt to stay informed so you can protect yourself and your loved ones from tragedy.

Sources:

http://www.cpsc.gov/en/Recalls/

http://www.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,1908719_1908717_1974910,00.html

http://blogs.phillymag.com/the_philly_post/2012/10/23/energy-drinks-killing-people/

http://www.dailyfinance.com/2011/07/12/macy-s-to-pay-750k-fine-for-peddling-deadly-hoodies

1 Comment to ““Killer” Consumer Products”

  1. You really need to learn to save on these things, it’s crazy. One of my friends was stuck with a nasty health plan when he broke his leg – basically gave his car away to the doctors.

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