Archive for September, 2008

FDA: Low-cholesterol drugs don’t cause Lou Gehrig’s

Tuesday, September 30th, 2008

The Food and Drug Administration has concluded that the use of statins — a variety of widely used cholesterol-lowering drugs — does not increase the chance of getting ALS, otherwise known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease.
Details are here.

Toy boats have lead laden cargo

Tuesday, September 30th, 2008

Toy boats sold online through Buzz’s Boatyard are being recalled because the paint on them has excessive levels of lead.
For more information, click here.

Drawers sold at IKEA recalled

Tuesday, September 30th, 2008

Some chest of drawers sold at IKEA stores are being recalled because the glass knobs on the drawers can easily break and cut users.
For more information, click here.

Toasters can turn to toast

Tuesday, September 30th, 2008

About 210,000 General Electric toasters sold at Walmart stores are being recalled because they have a short circuit.
Details of the recall are here.

Prices slashed for CFL bulbs

Tuesday, September 30th, 2008

Thanks to a state grant, energy-saving compact fluorescent bulbs will have sharply lower prices at many Michigan retailers in October. State energy regulators are urging residents to stock up on the bulbs, which are selling for as little as 99 cents each.
Meijer, Kroger, Ace and other retailers will be having the sales.
For details, click here.
Also, Monroe County has organized a CFL bulb recycling program in cooperation with four area businesses. Burned out CFL bulbs can be dropped off at Dundee Ace Hardware, St. Pierre Ace Hardware in Monroe, Lambertville Do-It-Best Hardware and Petersburg True Value Hardware.
Disposal of the bulbs is a delicate matter because they contain small amounts of mercury and should not be discarded with regular household trash.

Don’t panic over AIG insurance policies

Monday, September 29th, 2008

State officials are warning consumers not to make hasty decisions if they have insurance policies from AIG or an affiliate company.
AIG’s insurance subsidiaries are solvent and able to pay their obligations, according to Kenneth Ross of the state’s Office of Financial and Insurance Regulation.
“Consumers should think twice before making any rash decisions if they have a policy issued by an AIG insurance company,” Mr. Ross said. “As state insurance regulators, it is our number one job to protect insurance policyholders and enforce strict solvency standards and the AIG insurance companies are strong and solvent.”
“Replacing or liquidating a life insurance policy or an annuity can have significant hidden costs and tax consequences. That’s why Michigan insurance laws require that consumers get all the information they need to make an educated decision,” Ross added. “If someone tells a consumer to replace any policy because an AIG insurance company is in trouble, that is not only untrue, it’s against the law.”
If consumers have a life insurance or annuity policy and someone tells them to replace it because of the troubles at AIG’s parent company, they should immediately call OFIR’s toll-free hotline 877-999-6442, he said.
You also can file a complaint at that number or by clicking here.

Beware cell phone spam

Saturday, September 27th, 2008

A column I wrote for the Monroe Sunday News talks about my experience with a particularly nefarious form of cell phone spam.
If you start getting unsolicited text messages — jokes, horoscopes, riddles, etc. — you’re probably already getting billed for them too. If it hasn’t happened to you, it might soon. Experts say the amount of cell phone spam will increase greatly in the years ahead.
I checked with Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox. His office is aware of the potential problem but hasn’t seen any formal complaints about it yet. Nonetheless, earlier this year he issued this advisory.
Also, the AG’s office alerted me to an ABC News piece that aired in March that discussed the problem.
The key point here is to always carefully check your cell phone bill and guard your cell phone number carefully.

Iceberg lettuce tied to E. coli cases

Friday, September 26th, 2008

State health officials say some recent cases of E. coli-related sickness in Michigan have been traced to consumption of shredded or chopped iceberg lettuce distributed to restaurants and other institutions. One of the distributors was identified as Aunt Mid’s Produce Co. of Detroit.
The state has linked 26 E. coli cases with the lettuce, including seven at Michigan State University, five at the Lenawee County Jail, three at the University of Michigan, four in Macomb County, three in Wayne County, two in Kent County and one each in St. Clair and Oakland Counties.
More details are here.

Candy tainted with plastic additive

Friday, September 26th, 2008

White Rabbit candy, which was distributed in several states, is being recalled because it’s contaminated with melamine, that plastic addictive that’s sickened children in China because it was mixed with infant formula.
Details are here.

Riding lawn mower jacks are flawed

Friday, September 26th, 2008

Jacks for riding lawn mowers made by Shivvers Mfg. are being recalled because they can fail. Details on the recall are here.

Newer Ski-Doos have faulty weld

Friday, September 26th, 2008

About 18,000 2008 and 2009 Ski-Doo snowmobiles are being recalled because a weld can break on a drive-train assembly, causing the snowmobilie track to lock up and eject the rider. There have been about 20 reports of this happening.
Details on the recall may be found here.

Toy police cars busted for lead violation

Thursday, September 25th, 2008

Toy police cars sold at various dollar stores are being recalled because they have paint containing excessive levels of lead, a neurotoxin.
Details are here.

Razor is recalling scooters, four-wheel vehicles

Thursday, September 25th, 2008

Razor is recalling about 103,000 three-wheeled scooters because they pose a laceration hazard and is recalling another 30,000 four-wheel electric-powered vehicles because they have a throttle controller defect that allows them to surge forward unexpectedly.

Some Best Buy TV stands can tip over

Thursday, September 25th, 2008

A variety of TV stands sold at Best Buy stores are being recalled because they can tip over easily.
Details are here.

Igloo coolers have sharp latches

Thursday, September 25th, 2008

Igloo marine coolers are being recalled because the latches can cut hands. The company will supply a latch replacement kit.
Many of the coolers were sold at West Marine stores. Details are here.