Health Highlights: Nov. 2, 2017
More Than 40 Million Kidde Fire Extinguishers Recalled in U.S. and Canada MRI Contrast Agent Poisoned Wife, Chuck Norris Alleges in Lawsuit Companies Warned Over Cancer Treatment Claims for Marijuana-Derived Products: FDA
Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:
More Than 40 Million Kidde Fire Extinguishers Recalled in U.S. and Canada
More than 40 million Kidde fire extinguishers have been recalled in the United States (37.8 million) and Canada (2.7 million) because they can become clogged or require excessive force to discharge, meaning they may not work during a fire emergency.
In addition, the nozzle can detach with enough force to pose an impact hazard, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.
The recall involves 134 models of two styles of Kidde fire extinguishers: plastic handle fire extinguishers and push-button Pindicator fire extinguishers made between Jan. 1, 1973 and Aug. 15, 2017.
There have been 391 reports of failed or limited activation or nozzle detachment, 16 injuries such as smoke inhalation and minor burns, 91 reports of property damage, and one death, CPSC said.
The death was in 2014 and occurred when emergency responders could not get a Kidde fire extinguisher to work during a car fire after a crash.
Consumers with the recalled extinguishers should immediately contact Kidde for a free replacement fire extinguisher and to find out how to return their recalled product, CPSC said.
For more information, consumers can call Kidde toll-free at 855-271-0773 between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. ET Monday through Friday, and from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. ET Saturday and Sunday, or go to the company's website and click on Product Safety Recall.
MRI Contrast Agent Poisoned Wife, Chuck Norris Alleges in Lawsuit
In a lawsuit filed Wednesday, action star Chuck Norris alleges his wife was poisoned by a chemical used in MRI imaging scans.
According to the suit, Gena Norris became weak and tired and developed incapacitating attacks of pain and a burning sensation after being injected with gadolinium to improve the clarity of her MRIs, the Associated Press reported.
Gadolinium is a metal found in contrast agents used in many MRIs.
The lawsuit was filed in San Francisco Superior Court by Cutter Law, which has recently filed number lawsuits on behalf of people who it also says have been affected by gadolinium poisoning, the AP reported.
Studies have shown that gadolinium is retained by organs such as the brain, bones and skin.
In a statement last year, the American College of Radiology said gadolinium-based contrast agents have been used in more than 300 million patients worldwide since the late 1980s and provide "crucial, life-saving medical information," the AP reported.
Earlier this year, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said it found no evidence that retained gadolinium was harmful. A European Union agency announced the same finding in July but still recommended suspending use of some gadolinium contrast agents as a precaution.
Companies Warned Over Cancer Treatment Claims for Marijuana-Derived Products: FDA
Warning letters have been sent to four companies for claiming that their marijuana-derived products treat or cure cancer, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration says.
The companies are Greenroads Health, Natural Alchemist, That's Natural! Marketing and Consulting, and Stanley Brothers Social Enterprises LLC.
Together, they've made unsubstantiated cancer claims about more than 25 products sold online, according to the FDA. Some of the products were also marketed as an alternative or additional treatment for Alzheimer's and other serious diseases.
"Selling these unapproved products with unsubstantiated therapeutic claims is not only a violation of the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, but also can put patients at risk as these products have not been proven to be safe or effective. The deceptive marketing of unproven treatments may keep some patients from accessing appropriate, recognized therapies to treat serious and even fatal diseases," an FDA news release said.
"Substances that contain components of marijuana will be treated like any other products that make unproven claims to shrink cancer tumors. We don't let companies market products that deliberately prey on sick people with baseless claims that their substance can shrink or cure cancer and we're not going to look the other way on enforcing these principles when it comes to marijuana-containing products," FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb said in the news release.
The companies have been told to inform the FDA on how they will correct these violations. Failure to do so may result in legal action such as injunction and product seizure, the agency said.