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Stories by Eli Wolfe

Covid scams flourish despite efforts of health and law enforcement agencies

With the U.S. coronavirus death toll surging past 425,000 and the rollout of genuine vaccines painfully slow, bogus Covid-19 promotions are still going strong. The Justice Department, which reported receiving more than 76,000 tips about coronavirus scams by the fall, has filed at least 33 criminal cases, along with 13 civil actions seeking to halt the sale of fake vaccines, treatments or testing.... Read more»0

Despite dangers to kids, courts stymie regulators over powerful magnet toys

Over the past decade, thousands of children have been treated at emergency rooms after swallowing high-powered magnets, according to Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates. Parents and doctors reported cases of children who were hospitalized with injuries such as perforated intestines and bowels. At least two children in the U.S. have died.... Read more»0

Solar company traps customers with pricey long-term contracts

Over the last decade, consumer complaints against U.S.-based solar companies have multiplied. Among them are claims that salespeople misrepresented the terms of power purchase agreements or leases. Some homeowners say they were tricked and locked into 20-year contracts that can’t be broken, short of paying the solar company tens of thousands of dollars.... Read more»0

Small farms immune to safety investigations, even when a worker dies

In 1976, a few years after OSHA was created, Congress attached a rider to the agency’s budget that exempted farms with 10 or fewer employees from enforcement. It shields farm owners from accountability when their workers die in preventable accidents.... Read more»0

Study raises concern about e-cig waste

As media coverage focuses on the more immediate public health crisis of vaping, and its link to a recent spate of mysterious lung illnesses and deaths, researchers caution there also is a looming environmental threat. ... Read more»0

New study says some marketers of brain boosting supplements are flouting an FDA ban

Despite being banned, piracetam is widely available—and hugely popular—as a supplement promoted as boosting cognitive ability. Unintimidated by FDA warning letters, sellers are advertising this forbidden ingredient in online bazaars.... Read more»0

Safety agency probes data breach amid complaints about muzzling disclosure of hazards

The Consumer Product Safety Commission improperly informed some members of the public about potentially risky merchandise without first getting approval from the industry it regulates. ... Read more»0

Bug bombs are duds at killing pests, yet pose health risks for people

A new study has found that bug bombs, which are used by millions of Americans to kill insects such as cockroaches, often fail to eradicate those pests and yet expose consumers to potential health risks.... Read more»0

Labor Dep't waters down injury reporting rule targeted by business

A requirement that employers disclose more information about worker injuries to safety officials and the public has been scaled back by the Trump administration.... Read more»0

Number of tire-related deaths may be undercounted

Without saying why, federal traffic safety officials have quietly altered crash data, revealing that more than three times as many people die in wrecks linked to tire failures than previously acknowledged.... Read more»0