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Posted by Toni on Feb 7, 2016

Thousands of Different Products Continue to Cause Harm to Americans

In 2005, the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) reported 202,300 injuries and 20 deaths involving children 15 years old and below. These injuries and death are all toy-related.

Instead of decreasing, however, toy-related injuries only increased (and still continues to increase) every year. Thus, in 2011, the number of children who were treated in emergency departments due to a toy-related injury shot up to more than three million.

The most common causes of injuries and deaths among children are falls (from riding toys and non-powered scooters), suffocation, drowning, poisoning, and choking (which frequently happens to children under the age of three). While the ones at the highest risk of being injured are children below the age of five, all children are essentially unsafe if they are not properly supervised by adults. Parents and other adults should, therefore, understand their responsibility in making sure that children are taught how to use toys properly so that injuries, which usually happen to the head, face, eyes, neck and other sensitive parts of the body, may be avoided.

Injuries caused by toys, like bruises, lacerations, fractures, choking and poisoning are usually either immediately obvious or have symptoms that are easily noticeable; some products, however, despite being either equally harmful or more harmful than toys, have effects that become manifest only after some time, when the damage they have caused inside the body is already widespread or injurious enough for the body to still fight it off. These products are the food we eat and these affect not only children, but adults as well. These foods contain additives and genetically-engineered ingredients, which have already been banned in other countries, but continue to be sold and used in the US.

One instance of food poisoning that occurred in 2011 was the listeriosis outbreak. Its effect was immediate, causing infection in 146 people, 30 deaths and 1 miscarriage – all those affected were from 28 different states.

The ingredients, which so many other countries have already banned, include:

  • Artificial food dyes – found in medicines, candies, cakes, soda, sports drinks, macaroni and cheese
  • Fat substitute Olestra – used in French fries, corn chips and fat-free potato chips
  • Brominated vegetable oil (BVO) – found in citrus-flavored sodas and sports drinks (bromine is a poisonous chemical that is linked to birth defects, hearing loss, schizophrenia, growth problems and major organ system damage)
  • Potassium bromate (or brominanted flour) – found in flat breads, bagel chips, bread crumbs, rolls and wraps
  • Azodicarbonamide – used in packaged baked goods, boxed pasta mixes, frozen dinners and breads
  • BHA (butylated hydroxyanisole) and BHT (butylated hydroxytoluene) – found in dehydrated potatoes, meat, butter, gum, nut mixes and cereal
  • rBGH (bovine growth hormone) and rBST (Bovine somatotropin) – found in milk and dairy products
  • Arsenic – used in animal feed, especially for chickens, turkeys and hogs, to make meat look pinker and fresher
  • Trans fats – used also in French fries, microwave popcorn, crispy crackers and moist bakery muffins. Advertised as a heart-friendly replacement for butter, coconut oil and lard, in reality, however, this cheap but doubly harmful product than saturated fat is the cause of 30,000 to 100,000 untimely heart disease deaths every year.

In the website of Williams Kherkher, the firm explains how, despite the monitoring and threats of product recall issued by the Consumer Product Safety Commission and the restrictions imposed on manufacturing companies to ensure that they create products that are safe for consumers, thousands of products remain to be defective and harmful to their users.

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