Category Archives: Safety

Tell the FDA to Make Our Medicine Cabinets Safe!

Generic drugs make up 80% of all prescriptions filled in the United States. But in 2011 the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that generic drug makers are not responsible for updating their safety labels to warn of newly discovered risks and as a result cannot be held accountable in court if their drugs injure or kill Americans.

Consumers are left in a dangerous Generic Drug Safety Loophole with safety labels that are not reliable and their access to justice denied.

There is good news: The FDA has a proposed a plan to fix the problem! But it is under attack from the generics industry.

We need your help to close the Generic Drug Safety Loophole!

Sign the new Take Justice Back petition.

We have launched a new petition to the FDA to remind them that safety is an issue that simply cannot wait. Already, more than 21,000 people have called on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to restore generic drug accountability – and we need you to add your name to the growing list!

Sign the new Take Justice Back petition.

Together we can prescribe accountability to the generic drug industry!

Thank you –

The Take Justice Back Team

PS: After you sign the petition, make sure to share it with your friends on Faceboook.

 

777 6th Street NW, Suite 200 | Washington, DC 20001 | 202-965-3500

Gas company on safety

This to the MFD Chief from the gas company –


Safety Concerns from Columbia Gas of Massachusetts

Serious Snow and Ice Safety Risks for Natural Gas Meters

Westborough, MA – Columbia Gas of Massachusetts is concerned with recent incidents involving large icicles and snow accumulation falling from rooftops onto natural gas meters. This can cause a rupture in the gas line and result in a serious gas leak. Also, snow and ice covered natural gas meters, and snow removing equipment striking gas meters has caused the release of natural gas.

 

With significant snowfall and frigid temperatures in the forecast, it is extremely important to make sure that your natural gas meter, and the exhaust vents for your heating equipment and other appliances are free of snow and ice. Gas equipment requires adequate airflow for safe combustion and proper venting of appliances to prevent a dangerous carbon monoxide situation.

 

The build-up of ice and snow around or over a natural gas meter poses a serious safety risk. Ice and snow falling from the eaves and gutters above your gas meter can damage the meter or service connections, potentially resulting in a gas leak. Please use a broom instead of a shovel to clear ice and snow from your gas meter. Don’t kick or hit the gas meter to break away snow and ice. Don’t shovel snow up against your meter. Be careful when using a snow blower or snow plow near your meter. Where possible, have a clear path to your gas meter in the event a technician or emergency responder should require access.

 

If your meter is encased in ice which you cannot remove, contact Columbia Gas for assistance at 1-800-677-5052. If you think there’s a problem with the gas piping or equipment, or if you smell gas, call Columbia’s 24-hour emergency line at 1-800-525-8222.

 

“The safety and comfort of our customers and communities is our number one priority,” said Steve Bryant, President of Columbia Gas of Massachusetts. “We ask that you be diligent in removing snow and ice from above and around your natural gas meter, keep your appliance vents clear and your gas meter accessible. With record snowfall over the past month and continuing in the next couple days, this winter season continues to be a challenge for us all.”

 

For more safety tips and information visit http://www.ColumbiaGasMA.com


 

Subject: Urgent Safety Message to CMA Customers
From: tstefanowicz@nisource.com
Date: Fri, 13 Feb 2015 13:19:25 -0600

Dear Chief,

Due to the continuing forecast of frigid temperatures and snow accumulation, we have sent out the attached press release to our local media asking that they communicate this important message cautioning customers about large icicles and snow accumulation falling from rooftops onto natural gas meters.  We are also urging customer to remove ice and snow from their natural gas meters and gas appliance vents.

We have also cautioned customers to not use shovels to clear ice and snow from the natural gas meters.  We have also asked that they keep a clear, accessible path to the gas meter in the event a technician or emergency responder should require access.

Wherever possible we ask that you share this communication.  If you have the capabilities of posting this to your website, social media, or reverse 911 communications we would be most appreciative in assisting us in reaching as many customers as possible.

We have also sent an email blast to over 127,360 customers to whom we have email addresses.

We thank you for your support in our efforts to alert our customers to the safety risks associated with the accumulation of snow and ice around natural gas meters and gas appliance vents.

Andrea M. Luppi                                                                Don DiNunno
Manager Communications & Community Relations                                Manager Communications & Community Relations
Columbia Gas of Massachusetts                                                Columbia Gas of Massachusetts
2025 Roosevelt Avenue                                                                995 Belmont Avenue
Springfield, MA 01104                                                                Brockton, MA 02301
Office:  413-784-2145                                                                Office:  508-580-0100 ext. 1311
Cell:  413-530-0907                                                                Cell:  508-864-7099
Fax: 413-731-7788
www.columbiagasma.com

Tracy Stefanowicz
External Affairs Specialist
External Communications
(413)784-2130 – Work
(413)276-5822 – Cell
tstefanowicz@nisource.com

 

 

Storm shut downs

Mike Sullivan just called to update me on town plans in light of the storm and their conference call this morning with MEMA, and reports the following:

  • MEMA counseled that the strong winds are likely to be the major problem, as wind gusts are predicted to get reach 70 MPH, and with light fluffy snow there will be lots of drifting
  • NSTAR counsels that power outages should be reported to them, not the town, as calls to NSTAR are logged by its computer systems and algorithms to make its lists of what to fix first
  • Council on Aging, Medfield Park & Recreation Commission, and the Medfield Memorial Library have already announced that they will be closed both Tuesday and Wednesday
  • the schools will be letting people know their decision soon
  • we agreed to cancel the Board of Selectmen meeting for tomorrow evening

Please hunker down for the storm and keep safe.

Airbag recall

See if your car is covered by any recall by putting in your vehicle identification number (VIN) at https://vinrcl.safercar.gov/vin/

Generally see  www.recalls.gov


Takata hires NY lawyer to handle air bag scandal.

Reuters (11/18) reports Takata Corp has retained prominent New York defense lawyer Andrew Levander of Dechert LLP to oversee legal issues including the criminal probe on its defective airbags, the source of over 17 million car recalls since 2008. Last week a Federal grand jury subpoenaed Takata’s US Unit to produce documents on the defects, this while multiple class-action law suits, a probe by the US auto safety regulator, and a Senate hearing await Takata and its executives. Another partner at Dechert, David Bernick, will also represent Takata.

Defective Takata airbag grows into global problem for manufacturer. The New York Times (11/19, Gough, Soble, Tabuchi, Subscription Publication, 9.9M) reports that “What began as a largely American problem for Takata is taking on ever-wider proportions, confronting drivers and regulators in multiple countries with differing legal systems and attitudes toward automobile safety.” Last week, the first fatality of a non-US driver was linked to the Japanese airbag manufacturer’s defects thus confirming that faulty inflaters, made at North American plants, ended up in overseas vehicles. “The problem is that nobody knows how far it’s going to go — how many millions more vehicles,” said Koji Endo, an expert on the Japanese automobile industry at Advanced Research Japan. Adding to the company’s troubles, Federal regulators in the US on Tuesday urged automakers to recall cars nationwide that contain driver’s-side airbags made by Takata. Takata executives are scheduled to testify on Thursday at a Senate hearing on auto safety.

Airbag safety check

The NTHSA published the article below on the airbag safety recall and the NHTSA also has a link to a website where one can input one’s VIN to see if a vehicle is effected by any recall, including the airbag one  –


Wednesday, October 22, 2014
Media-only contact: Karen Aldana, 202-366-9550, Public.Affairs@dot.gov
(Note: Corrects vehicle list provided with advisories of Oct. 20-21)


Vehicle owners can call our Safety Hotline: 1-888-327-4236

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration urges owners of certain Toyota, Honda, Mazda, BMW, Nissan, Mitsubishi, Subaru, Chrysler, Ford and General Motors vehicles to act immediately on recall notices to replace defective Takata airbags. Over seven million vehicles are involved in these recalls, which have occurred as far back as 18 months ago and as recently as Monday. The message comes with urgency, especially for owners of vehicles affected by regional recalls in the following areas: Florida, Puerto Rico, limited areas near the Gulf of Mexico in Texas, Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, and Louisiana, as well as Guam, Saipan, American Samoa, Virgin Islands and Hawaii.

“Responding to these recalls, whether old or new, is essential to personal safety and it will help aid our ongoing investigation into Takata airbags and what appears to be a problem related to extended exposure to consistently high humidity and temperatures. However, we’re leaving no stone unturned in our aggressive pursuit to track down the full geographic scope of this issue,” said NHTSA Deputy Administrator David Friedman.

Consumers that are uncertain whether their vehicle is impacted by the Takata recalls, or any other recall, can contact their manufacturer’s website to search, by their vehicle identification number (VIN) to confirm whether their individual vehicle has an open recall that needs to be addressed. Owners that have been contacted by their manufacturer should contact their dealer’s service department and make arrangements for the repair. In addition, consumers can sign up for NHTSA recall alerts, which go out before recall letters are mailed by the manufacturers to the affected owners.

7.8 Million Affected U.S. Vehicles, by Manufacturer, Impacted by CY 2013 and 2014 Recalls Involving Takata Airbags

Note: The list below corrects the list that accompanied our October 20 advisory, which incorrectly included certain vehicles. The numbers cited for potentially affected vehicles below are subject to change and adjustment because there may be cases of vehicles being counted more than once. Owners should check their VIN periodically as manufacturers continue to add VINs to the database. Once owner recall notices are available, owners can retrieve a copy from SaferCar.gov, or will receive one by U.S. mail and are advised to carefully follow the enclosed instructions.

BMW: 627,615 total number of potentially affected vehicles
2000 – 2005 3 Series Sedan
2000 – 2006 3 Series Coupe
2000 – 2005 3 Series Sports Wagon
2000 – 2006 3 Series Convertible
2001 – 2006 M3 Coupe
2001 – 2006 M3 Convertible

Chrysler: 371,309 total number of potentially affected vehicles
2003 – 2008 Dodge Ram 1500
2005 – 2008 Dodge Ram 2500
2006 – 2008 Dodge Ram 3500
2006 – 2008 Dodge Ram 4500
2008 – Dodge Ram 5500
2005 – 2008 Dodge Durango
2005 – 2008 Dodge Dakota
2005 – 2008 Chrysler 300
2007 – 2008 Chrysler Aspen

Ford: 58,669 total number of potentially affected vehicles
2004 – Ranger
2005 – 2006 GT
2005 – 2007 Mustang

General Motors: undetermined total number of potentially affected vehicles
2003 – 2005 Pontiac Vibe
2005 – Saab 9-2X

Honda: 5,051,364 total number of potentially affected vehicles
2001 – 2007 Honda Accord)
2001 – 2002 Honda Accord
2001 – 2005 Honda Civic
2002 – 2006 Honda CR-V
2003 – 2011 Honda Element
2002 – 2004 Honda Odyssey
2003 – 2007 Honda Pilot
2006 – Honda Ridgeline
2003 – 2006 Acura MDX
2002 – 2003 Acura TL/CL
2005 – Acura RL

Mazda: 64,872 total number of potentially affected vehicles
2003 – 2007 Mazda6
2006 – 2007 MazdaSpeed6
2004 – 2008 Mazda RX-8
2004 – 2005 MPV
2004 – B-Series Truck

Mitsubishi: 11,985 total number of potentially affected vehicles
2004 – 2005 Lancer
2006 – 2007 Raider

Nissan: 694,626 total number of potentially affected vehicles
2001 – 2003 Nissan Maxima
2001 – 2004 Nissan Pathfinder
2002 – 2004 Nissan Sentra
2001 – 2004 Infiniti I30/I35
2002 – 2003 Infiniti QX4
2003 – 2005 Infiniti FX35/FX45

Subaru: 17,516 total number of potentially affected vehicles
2003 – 2005 Baja
2003 – 2005 Legacy
2003 – 2005 Outback
2004 – 2005 Impreza

Toyota: 877,000 total number of potentially affected vehicles
2002 – 2005 Lexus SC
2002 – 2005 Toyota Corolla
2003 – 2005 Toyota Corolla Matrix
2002 – 2005 Toyota Sequoia
2003 – 2005 Toyota Tundra

Stay connected with NHTSA via: Facebook.com/NHTSA | Twitter.com/NHTSAgov | YouTube.com/USDOTNHTSA | SaferCar.gov

TTOR to town – bear it

The letter below from the Trustees of Reservations (TTOR) President and CEO tells Medfield residents that we have to just put up with more mosquitoes because TTOR has decided to not allow spraying on its properties.

Norfolk County Mosquito Control (NCMC) is telling the town that without the larvicide spraying early in the summer, that there will be no effective way to control the large numbers of mosquitoes that we can expect to get later in the summer if there is a flood and the many eggs hatch into mosquitoes.  NCMC also tells the town that teh larvicide they use is some sort of thing that acts only on the mosquito larva, and is bonded to corn I believe it is, so that there is really no risk.

Norfolk County Mosquito Control tried to have its scientists speak to the TTOR scientists, but that does not seem to have resolved things so as to allow spraying on TTOR lands.


Dear Medfield residents,

 

For those of you who frequent our local properties, Rocky Woods, Noon Hill, Rocky Narrows or others in the Charles River Valley area, you may know us and may even be a member.  For those of you not familiar with us, The Trustees of Reservations is the world’s first regional land trust and one of Massachusetts largest conservation organizations with over 113 properties spread across more than 26,000 acres statewide. Our mission is to “hold in trust” (preserve and protect) “reservations” (properties) of scenic, cultural and natural significance for public use and enjoyment.

 

Recently, we have received several requests from Medfield town officials to allow preventive mosquito control on The Trustees of Reservations’ Medfield properties. We have considered these requests seriously since the health and safety of our visitors is of utmost importance to us, as are the fragile ecosystems and wildlife habitats located on our many reservations. We acknowledge that mosquitos are a nuisance and that there may be health risks associated with them in certain areas of the state, including Medfield.

 

In our recent conversations with selectmen, public health officials, and county mosquito control agencies we discussed our decision to opt-out of the town’s chemically-based control measures.  This decision is guided by our own science-based mosquito control policy as well as the guidelines of the Mass Department of Public Health and the Norfolk County Mosquito Control District.  We understand that chemically-based measures may become important in the case of a public health emergency declared by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH), and our policy supports this action should it be necessary.

 

In summary, we are concerned about the potential health risks associated with the mosquito population and will continue to be in dialogue with public health officials and review available data that might inform our policy going forward. We appreciate your patience and understanding as we evaluate next steps.

 

In the meantime, we hope you have a healthy, safe and active summer and remember to use necessary precautions and protective measures when enjoying our properties and being outdoors in general.  Outdoor places contribute to the overall quality of life in our communities and we remain committed to caring for our special places so that they are safe and enjoyable for everyone. For more information on upcoming area events, programs and fun family activities please visit: www.thetrustees.org.

Thank you,

 

Barbara Erickson

Trustees of Reservations President and CEO

Assisted Living Not Always Safe

To see this in a browser click here.

Taking Care of Mom and Dad

Advertising for assisted living paints a glorious picture for seniors: “Enjoy your golden years in bright, polished, independent communities while licensed medical professionals monitor your every need.”

Reality can be a different story. As the baby boomer generation ages, assisted living has become a big business – and for too many residents and their families, a big problem. Uneven regulation has created a dangerous situation where some facilities are not properly equipped or staffed to care for an increasingly ill population. Before you check in your loved one, you should know how to find quality assisted living.

Start Your Search Here. >>>

BY THE NUMBERS /
750,000
Residents
There are 750,000 Americans living in assisted-living facilities. And as baby boomers age, that number is expected to grow.

Source: A Starter Guide for Assisted Living, Next Avenue

$3,450
Per Month
The average cost for a private, one-bedroom apartment in an assisted-living residence averaged $3,450 per month in 2013 – nearly 5 percent more than in 2012.

Source: 2013 Cost of Care Survey, Genworth

16
Years Old
The minimum age for assisted-living caregivers in some states is just 16. Facility administrators aren’t required to have a high school diploma in 14 states.

Source: Elderly, At Risk and Haphazardly Protected, ProPublica

BOOKMARK FAVORITES /

Resources for Residents, Families, Caregivers

Search for quality assisted living in your community with links and resources from the Administration for Community Living.

ProPublica and PBS Frontline Fight for Rights of Seniors

ProPublica and PBS “Frontline” have teamed up to investigate and highlight the loose regulations and increased risks to seniors in assisted living.

Service Rates Assisted-Living Facilities in All 50 States

Personalized help finding the right assisted-living facility is available through Caring.com. Compare costs, learn about ratings and read reviews of different facilities in your state.