Category: Product Liability

“Dangerous Substance” BPA Found in Children’s Food Containers

by John McKiggan

Last month Bisphenol A was officially designated a dangerous substance by Health Canada. I posted about the news here.
The ruling came about as a result of concerns when the hormone was found in children’s baby bottles.

Now tests conducted for CTV News and The Globe and Mail on cans for several popular children’s foods shows similar or higher levels of bisphenol A than in baby bottles.

Baby bottles were found to leach about 6 parts per billion of BPA. The new test results showed higher concentrations of the dangerous substance in some popular children’s food containers.

Hospitals Reusing Single-Use Medical Devices: Are Patients at Risk?

by John McKiggan

A number of Canadian hospitals are reusing “single-use” medical devices (SUDs) that are supposed to be disposed of after being used. Worse yet, the vast majority of hopitals that are reusing the medical devices are sterilizing the devices in-house. Infection control experts have criticised the practice as being “fraught with risk”, according to a story by the Canadian Press.

…tragedies like the tainted blood scandal and cases of variant Creutzfeldt-Jacob disease — the human form of mad cow disease — linked to reuse of tools used in brain surgery have deepened the understanding of infection risks and raised the bar for infection control in hospitals.No Regulations:

The story reports that while there appears to be consensus among health care professionals that a national policy is needed and that the practice of in-house reprocessing ought to be banned, a regulatory void means that in many parts of the country hospitals can do as they wish when it comes to reuse of single-use medical devices.

Trasylol (Aprotinin) Anti-Bleeding Drug Raises Death Risk: Canadian Study

by John McKiggan

Trasylol also known as Aprotinin, an expensive anti-bleeding drug used during heart surgery actually increased the risk that patients would die during surgery or in the 30 days following by more than 50%!

The Canadian Press has reported that a recent Canadian study called the BART trial compared Trasylol to two far cheaper alternatives found that patients who received Trasylol were 53 per cent more likely to die than people who received the other anti-bleeding agents, tranexamic acid or aminocaproic acid.

Dr. Paul Hebert, a critical care doctor at the Ottawa Health Research Institute and one of the investigators in the study, was quoted as saying that:

Chewing gum ingredient may cause Cancer? Health Canada

by John McKiggan

The federal government is considering declaring an ingedient used to make chewing gum as toxic after tests linked it to cancer in lab rats.

The Canadian Press reported that vinyl acetate is one of 17 substances Health Canada could recommend be deemed toxic in a draft report to be published Saturday.

There has been no link demonstrated between vinyl acetate and cancer in humans.

Bisphenol A is officially a dangerous substance: Health Canada

by John McKiggan

Bisphenol A has been officially named a dangerous substance by Health Canada. The Globe and Mail reported the story here.

There is wide concern that the hormonally active chemical, which is commonly used in products like baby bottles, can have long term negative health effects. published a helpful list of baby bottles that are manufactured using the chemical. You can find the list here.

The move is widely expected to be the first step in an outright ban on the chemical in products designed to contain food or drinks.

Is Trasylol (Aprotinin) the Next Vioxx? Manufacturer Hid Evidence Drug was Dangerous.

by John McKiggan

Trasylol (Aprotinin) is a drug used during heart bypass surgery to help reduce bleeding and the need for blood transfusions. But a documentary on CBS’s 60 Minutes last night suggests the drug may be responsible for contributing to the loss of one thousand lives a month.

You can watch the whole story here.

Canadian Company Sued for Lead Contaminated Toys

by John McKiggan

Lead contamination in toys and other consumer products has been receiving a great deal of coverage from the media lately. See this story, for example.

However, China is not the only source of potentially dangerous toys. The Attorney General of Vermont has sued Canadian Toy manufacturer Ganz Inc. of Woodbridge, Ontario, for distributing items of jewelry and other metal products containing high amounts of lead through retail stores in Vermont.

The lawsuit points out the consumers shouldn’t be complacent or assume a product is safe simply because it isn’t made in China. So how do you find out if a product is safe?

Botox Linked to Children’s Deaths: FDA Issues Warning

by John McKiggan

The popular anti-wrinkle drug Botox and a competitor have been linked to dangerous botulism symptoms in some users, cases so bad that a few children have died, the government warned Friday.

Botox, and its competitor, Myobloc, use botulinum toxin to block nerve impulses, causing them to relax. In rare cases, the toxin can spread beyond the injection site to other parts of the body, paralyzing or weakening the muscles used for breathing and swallowing, a potentially fatal side effect.

The drugs are not approved for use with children but are commonly used to treat severe muscle spasticity in children with cerebral palsy.

Tainted Drugs and the Abortion Pill

by John McKiggan

Nearly 200 Chinese cancer patients were paralyzed or injured by contaminated leukemia drugs manufactured by a Chinese pharmaceutical company that supplies the abortion pill Mifepristone (or RU-486) to the United States.

The New York Times has reported that Chinese drug regulators have accused the drug manufacturer, Shanghai Hualian, of a cover-up and have closed the factory that produced the tainted cancer drugs.

The Times has reported that the same company is the sole supplier of Mifepristone (the abortion pill) to the U.S.

Stop Smoking Drug May be Linked to “Serious Psychiatric Problems”

by John McKiggan

A drug designed to help people stop smoking may be linked to “serious psychiatric problems.”

The Wall Street Journal has reported that the United States Food and Drug Administration issued a public health advisory Friday saying is “increasingly likely” that Pfizer Inc.’s smoking-cessation drug Chantix may be tied to serious psychiatric symptoms.

Health Canada approved Chantix for sale in Canada in early 2007.