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Facts and Myths About What Causes Cancer

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Over the years, you’ve probably heard that a wide range of things can lead to cancer. New research will either validate or deny these claims, but it can be hard to separate fact from fiction. Here is a list of a few things that have created concern in recent years and the truth about them.

Artificial Sweeteners

One of the most popular items that has been linked to cancer is artificial sweeteners like Equal and Sweet ‘n Low. Sweeteners that contain saccharine got a bad rap a few years back when it was discovered that the ingredient caused cancer in rats.

According to researchers, rats react in a different way to saccharine than people. There has been no indication that it leads to a higher cancer risk, and the warning label has been gone on these products since 2000. Aspartame hasn’t been found to cause cancer either.

Cell Phones

While cell phones haven’t been linked to cancer, they do come with warnings. They emit the same kind of energy as what is found in microwave ovens. It’s best to use a hands-free device, just in case.

Meat

You may not think about the dangers of eating processed meat, but the nitrates in hot dogs, lunch meat and other types of meat could cause cancer. These nitrates specifically increase the risk for colon cancer.

Coffee

No, coffee doesn’t cause cancer, which is good news for coffee fanatics. In fact, even better news is that research shows that drinking coffee regularly could reduce the risk for specific kinds of cancer, including liver, uterus and prostate cancer.

Fluoride

You can find this ingredient in mouthwash and toothpaste, along with other products. It may also be present in drinking water. While there have been concerns for how it can cause cancer, no direct link has been found.

Antiperspirant or deodorant

Both of these products are designed to help prevent odor, but antiperspirant keeps you from sweating while deodorant stops the smell. These products contain various chemicals that act similar to estrogen, which can cause cancerous cells to grow. However, no definite link has been found between the products and cancer.

X-rays

X-rays aren’t safe for the body, which is why doctors and dentists cover you with a lead blanket to keep the radiation away from your body. Higher doses of radiation lead to a higher risk of cancer. However, x-rays usually include a small amount and only slightly raise your risk.

Cleaning Products

Some cleaning products and other household items can increase your risk of cancer. The dangerous products are those listed as volatile organic compounds or VOCs. If they are listed as low-VOC, it means they are safer. You can look for products that say danger or poison, highly flammable, corrosive or highly combustible as an indication of what to stay away from.

Some of these items have been linked to cancer while others have not proven to carry a risk. It’s best to be careful and avoid certain products if you’re concerned.

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Defective Fuel Heater Causes Recall of Trucks and Buses

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Over 50,000 buses and trucks are being recalled because of a defective component in a Cummins diesel engine. Navistar, Inc. has initiated the recall because of a possible fire hazard from an electric fuel heater.

Danger of Fire and Injury

If a Cummins medium-duty diesel engine would overheat, it could cause plastic components in an electric fuel heater to melt. As the plastic melts, it could cause the vehicle to catch fire. This engine is used in school buses, emergency vehicles and trucks. Another concern is could cause the engine to stall out. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) indicates that it increases the changeof a crash from the engine stall-out.

Of the more than 68,000 Cummins engines in circulation, about ten percent are expected to have the problem. At this point, Cummins said it isn’t aware of any fires or injuries that have been caused by the defective part.

The manufacturer is still in the process of developing a solution. The company plansto notify dealers on April 30th and begin the recall on May 29th. The first incident occurred in the early part of February. There have been 12 known cases where the component has melted when Cummins decided to issue a recall notice. The company notified Navistar, the maker of the majority of affected vehicles.

Models Impacted

Most vehicles are 2018 and 2019 model years with a few 2020 and 2021 buses as well as International/Durastar and International/Workstar models from 2017.

IC Bus is a line of school and commercial busses. Models impacted from the recall range from 2018 to 2021 and include both school buses and commercial transit. International is the truck side of Navistar’s company with various models. The International/Workstar is a severe-duty truck for hauling heavy cargo, such as rock. The International/HV is often used to haul cement and other heavy products. The MV, another model included in the recall, is popular for hauling cargo with a trailer connected.

Navistar is a leading manufacturer of buses and commercial trucks as well as defense vehicles. Any recall can have significant impact because of the number of these vehicles out on the road. The size of the trucks and buses make any defects dangerous not only for the driver but for other vehicles around them. If the vehicle catches fire, it can incinerate other vehicles nearby. If the truck is hauling hazardousproducts or explosives, the risk intensifies.

While some vehicles have a safety system that shuts down a vehicle when a fire starts, not all models are equipped in that way. A fire with one of these models can result in severe injury, especially with burns. Other injuries can be caused by a crash if the engine shuts down while the vehicle is moving.

Anyone driving one of these models can contact their employer to let them know about the recall. They should stop driving immediately until it can be determined if the vehicle has a defective device and the issue is corrected.

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Nissan Vehicles Now Included in Takata Airbag Recall

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Nissan vehicles are the latest models to be recalled for defectiveness of Takata airbags. The manufacturer recalled around 216,000 vehicles because of the possibility of a malfunction in the airbag system.

Nissan Models and the Recall Issue

According to Nissan, the problem is with the airbags on the driver’s side of the vehicles. The vehicles are being recalled because the Takata airbags may not deploy when they are supposed to or they may rupture in the attempt. If they rupture, it could cause shrapnel to go flying in the cabin, which could lead to serious injury or death of a passenger. Shrapnel can create wounds like a knife because of the sharpness of the metal. The person may bleed out or have scarring and be disfigured. It can also lead to hearing and vision issues.

Models affected by this recall include NV cargo and passenger vans from 2012 to 2017, Nissan Titan and Armada from 2013 to 2015, and Infiniti QX56 from 2011 to 2012.

This isn’t the first time Takata airbags have caused a recall of vehicles. Back in 2008, Honda was the first auto manufacturer to recall vehicles because of defective airbags. The company had to recall about 4000 vehicles. Since then, other brands have had similar recalls. In fact, the situation has been so serious that Takata declared bankruptcy and the company was sold to Key Safety Systems.

The recall of Nissan vehicles is due to a slightly different issue. A problem with manufacturing at a Mexico facility could result in overloading or asymmetric loading of the propellant while the component was being manufactured. In prior recalls, the chemical that was used in the propellant could become unstable when it was exposed to higher temperatures or humidity levels. It also could develop instability after long time periods. The chemical being used was ammonium nitrate.

According to Nissan, no incidents have been reported which are related to the recall issue. Other Nissan and Infiniti models aren’t affected by the problem.

What to Do If You Own a Recalled Model

The manufacturer has a plan in place to deal with the recall. They will notify vehicle owners on May 25, 2020. Owners of the affected models can take their vehicles to a Nissan dealer to have the front airbag on the driver’s side replaced at no charge.

To find out if a Nissan vehicle is part of the recall, owners can check the website of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) or contact Nissan at 800-867-7669. Infiniti owners can contact the manufacturer at 800-662-6200.

This is not the first recall of the year. Takata issued another recall notice in January for 10 million airbag inflators. These products were sold to 14 different auto manufacturers. When an airbag doesn’t deploy as it should, it can allow serious injury to the driver. If it malfunctions, the injuries can be quite severe and cause permanent injury or even death. Anyone with a recalled model should get the problem taken care of and the airbag replaced right away.

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Joybird is the Latest Company to Recall Dressers for Tip-over Hazard

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Joybird Furniture has issued a recall of the Blythe dresser due to a risk of tipping over. The product doesn’t comply with stability standards and could fall over and cause injury to children.

Risk of Tipping Over

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, the dressers are unstable if they haven’t been attached to a wall. If a child should attempt to climb on the dresser, they are more likely to tip over and trap the child underneath. This could lead to serious injury and even death.

Currently, the recall notice involves around 100 of the products, which measure 66 inches in width and 37.5 inches in height. They are 18 inches in depth, and they weigh around 200 pounds. They cost $1700 and were sold online at the company website between October 2017 and July 2019.

To identify the dressers, the consumer can look on the back of the dresser for a sticker that includes the month and year the piece was manufactured and the name, Stitch Industries, Inc. It will also say TSCA Title VI Compliant.

There have been no incidents reported from consumers who own the dresser, but the product does contain a real risk. Anyone who owns one of these dressers can call the company at 888-282-0842 or email them at support@joybird.com. They can also contact the manufacturer through the company’s website.

Joybird has said it will provide a free pick-up of the dresser and give consumers a full refund. This is the resolution that safety experts prefer because it ensures the home is safe from the risks that come with this product. However, Joybird has given customers a second option. They can contact the company and request a free repair to be done in the home on the legs of the dresser or installation of a tip-over restraint kit. These options will also include a gift card worth $50 which can be used for merchandise on the company’s website.

Changes to Standards

Legislation is being considered which would create a federal statute that is not only stricter than the voluntary standard currently in use, but it would be mandatory. The act is STURDY or Stop Tip-Overs of Unstable, Risky Dressers on Youth.

According to Consumer Reports, someone is injured around every 20 minutes from a piece of furniture or an appliance that tips over. A death occurs about every two weeks. These items include televisions and dressers. Many products have been recalled because of the tip-over risk.

Dressers can cause suffocation of the child because they can’t get out from under them. Many times, no crash is heard because the body of the child absorbs the impact. The child may have been climbing the front or playing inside a drawer.

With the current voluntary standard, any dresser which stands above 30 inches should be able to stay in an upright position even with 50 pounds hanging from the front. Since the standard isn’t mandatory, manufacturers don’t have to test for it or meet it.

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