This week in safety: Ripped from the headlines

    Consumer Reports News: February 27, 2009 05:18 PM

    The Washington Post reported this week that the Children's National Medical Center's Burn Clinic has seen a dramatic increase in fireplace burn injuries among toddlers. Between Jan. 1 and Feb. 24, the hospital has had nine cases of serious fireplace-related burns caused by gas fireplaces with glass fronts. According to a doctor at the burn clinic, the glass front of a gas artificial fireplace can heat up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit within 10 to 15 minutes of being turned on and can stay hot long after the fireplace is turned off. It's a cautionary tale worth reading. Here's what else was in the safety news this week.

    Obama's proposed budget increases workplace safety funding
    Kansas City Star
    Asserting that mounting workloads and dwindling staff have hindered the government's ability to protect workers, President Barack Obama is pledging to increase the enforcement of workplace safety. Read more ...

    Are Chinese car parts safe?
    Smart Money
    Even the simplest car parts can have deadly consequences. Which is why some safety advocates are raising red flags about the growing influx of Chinese auto parts. Read more ...

    New x-ray machines may kill food bacteria, prevent outbreaks
    Environmental Health News
    Researchers are experimenting with x-ray technology to zap dangerous bacteria that hide in foods such as leafy greens, tomatoes, ground beef and, most recently, peanuts. Read more ...

    Danger! Children at play
    Toronto Globe and Mail
    Quick! How many kids a year are injured on unsafe playgrounds? Thousands, say the experts. School playgrounds are danger zones for injuries, warns one new Canadian report. The U.S.-based National Playground Safety Institute is also worried. Read more ...

    Bookshelf: 'Toxic Truth'
    Sometimes it takes an SOB to get anything accomplished, especially against steep odds, and the battle to protect children from lead was especially uphill. Anyone who cares about children's brains can therefore thank two men who were arrogant, abrasive, and uncharitable with colleagues who did not see things their way. Read more ...

    Lead levels in children's jewelry match those of car batteries
    CanWest news service
    Six out of 10 children's jewelry items for sale in Canada tested at the government's product safety laboratory in the last two years had dangerous and illegal levels of lead—some with levels comparable to car batteries made of almost pure lead. Read more ...

    Common household chemicals tied to infertility
    Food packaging, shampoo, clothes, and other household products contain chemicals that may make it harder for some women to get pregnant, suggests the first study on the subject. Read more ...

    ToyotaCrashTest(2) Safety news on the CR Blogs

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