Toyota, GM Recall Vehicles for Fire Risk

So far, 2014 has been a record year for vehicle recalls, with 46 million recalled vehicles so far, and there are still more than three months to go. This week, two more recalls were announced, both involving the largest automakers in the world. Yesterday, Toyota Motor Corp. announced that it would recall around 20,000 vehicles, including some of its Avalon, Camry, Highlander and Sienna vehicles from model year 2014 and…

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Texas Oil and Gas Boom Traffic Fatalities Continue to Rise

According to recent reports, throughout the state, the number of traffic fatalities related to the Texas oil and gas boom continue to rise, in both these number and severity. These accidents are occurring on all sorts of Texas roadways, from interstates in cities to two-lane roads in rural areas. One such  recent report  compiled the number of serious traffic accidents that killed three or more people, and found that  such accidents have become…

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IKEA Child’s Swings Recalled

When a parent buys a toy for their child, it is not unreasonable to expect that the product has been tested and found to be safe before it is sold in a retail store. Unfortunately, that apparently isn’t always the case.  In the latest example, Swedish furniture maker IKEA has announced a voluntary recall of their GUNGGUNG child’s swing because of a defect in the suspension fittings, which can cause…

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New Study Links Water Contamination and Fracking in Texas

A new study released today says that the natural gas fracking boom has led to the contamination of large amounts of drinking water in both Texas and Pennsylvania. According to the study, which was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a number of concerns that were raised by homeowners in the Barnett Shale in Texas and the Marcellus formation in Pennsylvania with regard to natural gas leakage into the…

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OSHA Issues New Reporting Rules

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has released revised severe injury rule that places on all employers an obligation to notify OSHA within eight hours whenever a worker is killed on the job, and within 24 hours when a worker is injured severely enough to require hospitalization. Under the previous rule, while employers were required to report work-related fatalities, when it came to hospitalizations,  they were only required to report those …

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Mother Sues Ford for Faulty Vehicle Design in Toddler’s Death

Halie Bush, the mother of a 3-year-old who was seriously injured and died due to an accident in the family’s driveway, filed a complaint against Ford Motor Co. last month in the Eastern District of Texas, which she alleged that a faulty vehicle design is to blame for her young toddler’s death. According to the details in the complaint, K.S., Bush’s 3-year-old son, was killed back on Nov. 2, 2013,…

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Compounding Pharmacy Recall Over Possible Contamination

A Naperville, Illinois compounding pharmacy, Martin Avenue Pharmacy, has issued a voluntary recall of a number of the compounded prescriptions it has filled over concerns about potential contamination. According to a company press release, the recall was initiated after an inspection by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), after officials with the agency expressed concern over several quality control procedures that they said compromised sterility of the process and put patients…

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Proposal to Close Deficient Texas Nursing Homes Sparks Debate

Last month, at a hearing held to evaluate the Sunset Advisory Commission, Texas State Sen. Charles Schwertner, who is both a medical doctor and chairman of the Senate Health and Human Services Committee, took the time to point out that seven nursing homes licensed by the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services have been found to be in repeated violation of federal standards for such facilities. Based on state inspection records,…

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Bean Bag Chairs Recalled After Texas Boy Dies

More than 2.2 million bean bag chairs, manufactured by Ace Bayou, have been  recalled following the deaths of two children, including a 13-year-old boy from McKinney, Texas and a three-year-old girl from Lexington, Kentucky. Both children were found dead inside the chair, and it was determined that they had died from suffocation when they inhaled the polystyrene foam beads inside the chair. The recalled chairs were manufactured in China. They…

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UT Researchers Find Arsenic in Texas Groundwater

Researchers at the University of Texas have made a disturbing discovery. After they tested the water in 100 wells on the Barnett Shale, which contains one of the largest reserves of natural gas in the United States, they found that 29 of the wells contained  levels of arsenic that was above the limit the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) considers to be safe. The study, which was published in the journal…

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Kraft Cheese Recall

Kraft Cheese Recall Announced Kraft Foods Group has announced a voluntary recall of nearly 7,700 cases of one of its signature products, Kraft American Singles Pasteurized Prepared Cheese Product, after the company discovered that one of its suppliers had delivered an ingredient that had not been stored in accordance with crafts standards regarding temperature. According to the company’s press release announcing the recall, the below-standard storage conditions could result in “premature…

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Fracking and Birth Defects

Is There a Link Between Fracking and Birth Defects? While nearly everyone agrees that the current state of research into the health effects of living near a fracking site is still preliminary and more work needs to be done, the first round of research is very troubling, in that it seems to demonstrate a link between pregnant women living near an oil or gas well where fracking is used and their babies…

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Houston Workplace Fatalities Worst in Texas

The city of Houston, Texas can be proud of many things. However, as we celebrate Labor Day 2014, Houston must come to grips with the fact that, when it comes to workers’ safety, it has the worst record in Texas. And given the fact that Texas has the worst record in the country, that should be seen as troublesome. On average, a worker in Texas is 12% more likely to…

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Texas Cyclospora Outbreak Traced to Cilantro from Mexico

The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS),  along with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)  has spent the last several months investigating an outbreak of Cyclospora illness, and they have traced the illnesses to cilantro that  was imported from Puebla, Mexico. The agency’s report that the number of new illnesses has returned to normal background levels, and at this point in…

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Hewlett-Packard Issues Computer Fire Hazard Recall

Computer manufacturer Hewlett-Packard has issued a worldwide recall of more than 6 million computer power cables due to a potential fire hazard. To date, they have received at least 29 reports of the cables or the adapters overheating, to the point of melting or charring the adapter, or worse. In all, there have been 13 reports of property damage to homes or offices and at least two people have received burn…

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Two Pickups Crash in a Texas 21 Fatal Auto Accident

A fiery crash earlier this week on Texas 21 left one man dead and several others injured when the driver of a 2009 Dodge Ram pickup truck slammed into a 2002 Dodge Ram pickup truck when the 2002 vehicle slowed down to make a right turn into a church, and the 2009 vehicle slammed into it at a high rate of speed. According to witnesses, the 22-year-old driver of the…

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Company, FSIS Order Salad Recalled for Listeria

A Corona, California food supplier, APPA Fine Foods, and the US Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety Information Service (FSIS) have announced a recall of more than 90,000 pounds of Caesar salad kits containing fully-cooked chicken because of a fear that they may contain Listeria monocytogenes. The recall was announced after testing in which two samples taken from Sam’s Club locations in Michigan tested positive for Listeria. In these cases, only…

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