WebMD's 10 Top Health Stories of 2007
Recalled Toys, Unsafe Food, Bad Bugs, New Stem Cell Source Top List
Lead paint wasn't the only hazardous substance coating kids' toys in 2007. In November, WebMD reported the incredible news that beads in 4 million Aqua Dots craft kits carried a chemical that, when swallowed, converts into the "date-rape" drug GHB. At least two U.S. kids slipped into comas after swallowing Aqua Dots. Fortunately, both recovered. The craft kits were made in China.
Meanwhile, other recalls seemed to come at a furious pace. September saw the recall of 1 million Simplicity cribs, which became death traps if their drop-side was assembled upside down. At least three babies died. In October, risk of serious head injury led to the recall of a million Bumbo Baby sitter seats.
Of course, new toys aren't the only hazard. WebMD also warned parents that lead-painted toys might be lurking in their children's toy boxes -- and provided tips on buying safe toys.
Not all unsafe products are kids' stuff. One of the scariest recalls in recent memory was the May recall of Advanced Medical Optics' Complete Moisture Plus contact lens solution due to contamination with an infection-causing parasite. What made this so scary is that this news came less than a year after Bausch & Lomb recalled its ReNu with MoistureLoc contact lens solution. The MoistureLoc solution, although probably not contaminated during manufacture, failed to prevent growth of a dangerous fungus.
No 2: Food Bites Back
Food safety is, one might say, a growing issue in the U.S. Whether you're a vegetarian or a hamburger lover, your menu likely includes one of the foodstuffs recalled in 2007.
The first major food scare of the year came with a warning that certain jars of Peter Pan and Great Value peanut butter might harbor salmonella, one of the major bacterial causes of food poisoning.
Perhaps the oddest recall of the year came in the summer, when a snack food called Veggie Booty was recalled due to potential salmonella contamination of its seasoning mix. Also included in the recall was a sister product, Super Veggie Tings Crunchy Corn Sticks.