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Product Liability Archives

Children at risk from swallowing magnets

Many children are becoming injured and requiring medical attention after swallowing high-powered magnet desk toys. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, charged with protecting the public against injury from adangerous product, is drafting plans to prohibit the further sale of such toys. Based on information gathered, the CPSC believes that approximately 1,700 children were treated in hospital emergency rooms after swallowing such magnets during a three-year period that ended last December. Few parents in Maryland or elsewhere realize that these small toys can pose a serious danger if swallowed by their children.

1-size-fits-all approach to antibiotics may cause serious illness

When you suffer a cold, flu or other relatively minor virus you can usually manage it with home remedies or over-the-counter pharmaceuticals. If the symptoms get serious enough to see a doctor, he or she might prescribe extra medicine to make you feel better faster. What you shouldn't get is a prescription for antibiotics, which are ineffective against viruses.

Bayer shores up legal funds as more harmed by contraceptives

As many Marylanders know from either personal experience or the countless advertisements for pharmaceuticals on television, many of the drugs we take every day carry a risk of side effects. Some of these are fairly harmless, such as dry mouth or marginal weight gain. We put up with them, either because a health condition requires that we take the drug or its benefits outweigh the side effects.

GlaxoSmithKline dishes out $3 billion in product liability case

British drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline pleaded guilty in court recently to charges stemming from accusations that the company did not report safety concerns about a diabetes medication, improperly marketed drugs and promoted an antidepressant drug for uses that are unapproved. The drugs Avandia, Paxil and Wellbutrin were among those listed in the case.

Increase in product recalls may lead to rise in liability suits

Maryland residents purchase millions of different products each year, including food, medical devices, pharmaceutical products and general consumer goods. Some have been on the market for decades, while there are countless new products introduced each year. With an increasing number of products inevitably comes a growing number of warnings about defects, malfunctions and instances of contamination. When producers discover these problems, they usually announce a recall or a warning to consumers about the potentially dangerous product.

Antidepressant use during pregnancy could pose risk to newborns

Women who take antidepressants while pregnant may want to reconsider doing so, according to a recent study reported in the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology. The study's findings linked antidepressant use to pregnancy complications including premature birth and smaller birth weight. Experts have stopped short of saying the medications themselves are dangerous, but say the safest option is to stop using antidepressants during pregnancy.

Maryland awarded $1.8 million in drug marketing settlement

If you or a loved one suffers from an incurable disease or disorder, you're probably eager to try any new treatments or drugs to curb its effects. Many people wait years for a solution that's been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat their condition. So when it was announced that a drug once recommended for the elderly and children turned out to be illegally marketed and possibly unsafe, there was considerable uproar, both from patients and the medical community.

Some beauty products pose serious health hazards

Consumers need to be aware of dangerous beauty products containing hazardous substances that can be detrimental to your health. In some instances, hair styling products, skin creams and makeup have been found to contain bacteria, heavy metals or hazardous chemicals.

Buyers cook up complaints about kitchen appliances

A recently released report indicates that kitchen appliances make up the bulk of product complaints listed in a government database. More than 30 percent of product safety complaints listed on SaferProducts.gov relate to kitchen appliances. This category is comprised of electric ovens, ranges, dishwashers, refrigerators and microwaves. Other high-ranking items include nursery equipment, shoes and toys.

Before you pucker up, look for lead in your lipstick

A warning for women who wear lipstick: A study by the Food and Drug Administration found 400 lipsticks on the market that tested positive for lead. Although the FDA says the amounts of lead are at a low enough level to not cause a serious health risk, they might cause some to think twice about what they're putting on their lips.

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