Writer: Lilly Fowler

Lilly Fowler is assistant editor at FairWarning.

Consumer Protection

Emotionally and financially, “it’s devastating.” — Adam Thull

Adam Thull with his wife, Courtney, 4-year-old daughter, Stevie, and 8-year-old son, Cyril. (Kelli Engstrom) LISTEN: Listen to Adam Thull describe his accident and how it has affected his life. Adam Thull was building a checkout counter for a local bookstore when he noticed a wood [...]

Consumer Protection

“Within a second my fingers were on the ground.” — Tom Corbett

Listen to Tom Corbett describe his accident and how it has affected his life. Tom Corbett was helping remodel the front entryway of a home in Manchester, Mass., two years ago when suddenly his life changed forever. A piece of wood he was trying to cut jammed in his table [...]

Commentary

Lead Exposure in Older Homes Means Children “Pay With Their Lives”

U.S. health authorities estimate that about 535,000 children are still at risk of developmental problems due to elevated levels of lead in their blood. In an interview, public health historians Gerald Markowitz and David Rosner discuss the history and scope of the lead problem.

Commentary

After Sandy Hook Massacre, People ‘Simply Cannot Walk Away’

Dr. Garen Wintemute is a pioneer in the study of gun violence as a public health issue. In a Q&A with FairWarning's Lilly Fowler, Wintemute called for Congress to require background checks for all private sales of firearms, whether at gun shows or between individuals.

Consumer Protection

Judicial Secrecy Turns Consumer Protection Case Into a Mystery

When the Consumer Product Safety Commission launched SaferProducts.gov, a database allowing consumers to report and learn about hazardous products, it was inevitable that some business would go to court to keep a customer’s complaint private. But the first legal challenge is shrouded in mystery.

Public Health

Some Peace Corps Volunteers Face Injury Overseas, Indifference at Home

Peace Corps volunteers who serve in impoverished, dangerous countries all too often endure sexual assaults, psychological trauma and physical injuries, as well as exotic diseases. Yet former volunteers-turned-activists say the government workers’ compensation program that is supposed to provide medical care and disability payments for the injured is rife with troubles.

Consumer Protection

Unthinkable But Real: Tipping Furniture, TVs Sometimes Deadly to Children

When it comes to dangers that threaten children, one of the most unimaginable is a piece of furniture toppling and injuring, or even killing, a youngster. Yet tens of thousands of children in recent years have wound up in emergency rooms and scores have died from such accidents, according to data from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Environment

Obama Election-Year Pullbacks on Safety, Environment Dismay Advocates

Safety and environmental advocates say the Obama administration is sacrificing public health protections to blunt conservative attacks on government regulation. While it is common for presidential candidates to move to the middle before a tough election, the shift has dismayed Obama supporters who had counted on him to push a raft of progressive reforms.

Labor

State Investigators, Workers Cite Labor Abuses in Warehouse Empire

In the arid flatlands of the Inland Empire east of Los Angeles, a vast warehouse industry serves as a staging point for Apple computers, Gerber baby clothes, Polo apparel and other brand-name imports shipped from Asia to Southern California, to be distributed around the U.S. Warehouse workers in the Inland Empire -- as well as in the next two biggest distribution hubs, the Chicago area and central New Jersey -- are cogs in a system that stock the shelves of stores such as Walmart, Target and Foot Locker. But the industry, critics say, has an underside.

Public Health

Bad Shock: Automated Devices for Jolting Hearts May Save Fewer Lives in Hospitals

Just over a decade ago, hospitals began spending millions of dollars to buy automated defibrillators to save the lives of more patients who go into sudden cardiac arrest. The purchases were spurred by a recommendation from an American Heart Association committee. But today the costly equipment switchover increasingly seems to have been a mistake. By one estimate, the shortcomings of the automated equipment mean that close to 1,000 more hospital cardiac arrest patients die every year in the U.S.

Warning Wire

Stop Smoking Drug Chantix Linked to Heart Problems, FDA Warns

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has added heart problems to the growing list of concerns about the smoking cessation pill Chantix. The Pfizer drug may increase the risk of heart attacks among those who already have cardiovascular disease, according to a statement released by the agency. FDA officials said [...]

Warning Wire

Watchdog Group Says Pfizer Played Down Suicides Tied to Chantix

Pfizer failed to adequately alert federal authorities for several years about more than half of the suicides suspected of being related to its anti-smoking drug Chantix, according to a report by a nonprofit watchdog group. The analysis by the Institute for Safe Medication Practices found that Pfizer did not submit [...]