Whether you’re choosing to undergo a lifesaving medical treatment or getting behind the wheel of a car, there is an inherent risk in every facet of our lives. With the help of recalls, we can better decide which products are best for our families and which to stay away from.
Let’s discuss how recalls are helpful, explore recent product recalls and their health repercussions, and discuss options for individuals who are suffering from the use of a recalled product.
What Is A Recall + Why Do They Matter?
A recall is when a product is removed from circulation in the market because it is potentially harmful or defective. Medications like prescriptions or over-the-counter drugs can be recalled due to an excess of risks and side effects, and items like household cleaners, pesticides, or even packaged foods can be recalled due to harmful contaminants or chemicals.
A famous recall example to note is Vioxx, a pain medication so trusted that its commercials featured Olympic athletes taking the drug for pain relief. Vioxx was used by 20 million people and resulted in nearly 28,000 cardiac deaths and heart attacks while the product was on the shelves. Deciding they didn’t like these odds, drug manufacturer Merck pulled the medication due to adverse side effects and potential death associated.
Recalled products, from clothing items to vehicle airbags, cause thousands of injuries and illnesses per year in the US. Problems in manufacturing, unknown long-term side effects, or simple human error can create harmful errors with deadly consequences and result in a product recall. Recalls are important to society as they can help ensure public health and safety.
Major Product Recalls + Their Health Repercussions
Since we began regulating American manufacturing, many notable products have been revoked from shelves for the sake of public health. Let’s explore a few recent product recalls and their health implications.
Once a popular antacid taken to reduce heartburn, Zantac was taken off the market in 2020 due to possible links to cancer. Zantac contains traces of a cancer-causing chemical (Nitrosodimethylamine NDMA) that the FDA calls “unacceptably high” and has led to stomach, pancreatic, and bladder cancer and complications.
If you’ve taken this widely-used antacid medication, you may want to contact a doctor. Additionally, you may want to join the class-action lawsuit against Zantac. Contact a personal injury attorney to fight for compensation for your health complications.
2. Takata Airbags
Bankrupt airbag manufacturing company Takata recalled 10 million airbags in the last several years due to an inability to inflate on impact and a tendency to explode with too much force and potentially hurl deadly shrapnel.
Over 14 different automakers have had to recall their cars with Takata airbags, including Ford, Toyota, GM, and Subaru. Always pay attention to alerts from your car manufacturer to avoid such an accident, and get your airbags replaced when you hear of a recall. Additionally, consider these recalls when purchasing a used car.
3. Hand Sanitizer
To stop the spread of Covid-19 and other diseases, the CDC recommends you wash your hands often and thoroughly with soap and water. When that option is not available, using hand sanitizer with an alcohol content of 60% or more is an acceptable substitute.
If you’re anxious about Covid-19, mindfully choose the hand sanitizers you buy for your family. With the rise of the pandemic, many companies have started manufacturing hand sanitizers and they aren’t all created equally. As of 2020, the FDA has added 200 hand sanitization products to its “do not use” list.
4. Food Recalls
Each year, the FDA keeps a close eye on food distributors to be sure there aren’t contaminants going into Americans’ fridges and pantries. Always check your local news for information about food recalls in your area.
For example, just in the past year, we have experienced romaine lettuce and ground beef recalls due to possible. coli contamination risk.
5. Ring Doorbells
An Amazon subsidiary called Ring recently had to recall upwards of 350,000 video response doorbells for allegedly catching on fire after use. In 2020, Amazon sold the majority of these doorbells to American and Canadian consumers.
Ring doorbells are just one example of a technological product recall. For example, the Samsung Galaxy phones that burst into flames in 2016 come to mind. Always educate yourself on the products you are bringing into your home to keep you and your family safe.
Read next: 15 Things to do Before Lockdown Ends
In the US, most modern products go through rigorous safety testing and most are indeed safe to use. However, as anyone who has seen a recent medication commercial can attest, there is risk associated with the use of almost any manufactured product.
Product recalls exist to help us differentiate helpful products from harmful, whether we are choosing car parts or medications. Educate yourself on product recalls near you, and don’t be afraid to ask for legal help if you’ve been negatively affected by a recalled product.