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    Flame retardants may increase thyroid problems in women

    Risk is significantly higher among post-menopausal women, Harvard study finds

    Flame retardant chemicals have penetrated just about every corner of the Earth, and now a Harvard study finds they may be implicated in thyroid diseases in women, with a significantly higher risk among post-menopausal women.

    “These chemicals are just about everywhere, from the blood in polar bears to eagles to humans on every continent,” said Joseph Allen, assistant professor of exposure assessment science at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and the study’s lead author. “This near ubiquitous exposure means we are all part of a global experiment on the impact of endocrine disrupting chemicals on our bodies.”

    Common types of thyroid disease include hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism, and Hashimoto’s disease.

    The new paper, published online today in the journal Environmental Healthfound that women with elevated blood levels of certain types of polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) are at higher risk. It is the first to suggest a link between PBDEs and thyroid disease.

    Used in furniture

    PBDEs have been used as flame retardants for decades, largely in furniture, in quantities up to 20% of the weight of the product. Over time, they migrate out of the furniture into the air, settle into dust in homes, schools, offices, and the outdoors, and accumulate in people’s bodies.

    Previous research has shown that these chemicals accumulate in fatty tissue and interfere with hormonal functions, including interference with thyroid hormones. Because it’s known that estrogen levels regulate thyroid hormones, researchers theorized that post-menopausal women may be particularly vulnerable to PBDE-induced thyroid effects.

    For the study, researchers looked at a nationally representative sample of women and compared the levels of four common PBDEs with their history of thyroid problems. They found that, overall, women were about five times more likely than men to have a thyroid problem. The percentage ranged from 13-16% among women, compared with 2-3% among men.

    Women with the highest flame retardant concentrations in their blood were significantly more likely than those with lower concentrations to have a thyroid problem. The effect size was doubled in post-menopausal women.

    “To our bodies, these flame retardant chemicals look and function exactly like endogenous hormones our bodies produce. Should we be surprised that we see downstream health effects for women with higher body burdens of these chemicals? I think no. This is all too predictable and preventable,” said Allen.

    One limitation of the study is that it couldn’t determine effects from newer flame retardant chemicals because they are not currently reported in medical research databases.

    Flame retardant chemicals have penetrated just about every corner of the Earth, and now a Harvard study finds they may be implicated in thyroid diseases in...
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    E-cigarette advertising linked to use by teens

    Teens who had used the products were more likely to have seen an ad for the products first

    Recent reports have indicated that e-cigarette use amongst teens is rising, but how much of it is attributed to the way these products are advertised? According to a study from The University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston, quite a lot.

    Researchers have found a significant association between marketing for e-cigarettes and product use among middle and high school students. The teens report seeing advertisements for these products in many different places – a marketing tactic that closely resembles those used by the tobacco industry.

    “E-cigarette companies are following what cigarette companies did. There are no restrictions on the messaging they can use, and health warnings do not appear on e-cigarettes like they do on cigarette packages. Flavored e-cigarettes are widely available and appeal to youth,” said Dr. Maria Cooper, co-author of the study.

    Pervasive advertising

    The study utilized data from the 2014 National Youth Tobacco Survey, which asked young people about their exposure to tobacco products. The researchers found that out of over 22,000 middle and high school students, 20% had tried e-cigarettes before and 9% were currently using them.

    The researchers found that those who had tried e-cigarettes before were 16% more likely than their peers to have seen an advertisement for the products in print, online, in a retail setting, or in a movie or television show. Current users were 22% more likely to have seen these ads.

    While teens reported seeing ads the most in retail settings or online, the researchers point out that the products are becoming more and more widespread.

    “You go to a convenience store and the entire wall behind the cashier is tobacco advertising. We’re seeing e-cigarettes are following that trend. The internet and social media are also a concern because e-cigarette companies have a big online presence,” said Dale Mantey, lead author of the study.

    Increased spending

    The increase in advertising is no accident either. The researchers state in their paper that marketing for e-cigarette products nearly tripled from 2011 to 2012 – from $6.4 million to $18.3 million.

    That trend would continue into subsequent years; expenditures for e-cigarette ads in the second quarter of 2013 eclipsed all of the spending for 2012. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that spending increased to $115 million in 2014.

    While more research must be done to prove a definitive link between e-cigarette advertising and its use, the researchers believe that their study has laid some of the groundwork for future studies.

    The full study has been published in the Journal of Adolescent Health.

    Recent reports have indicated that e-cigarette use amongst teens is rising, but how much of it is attributed to the way these products are advertised? Acco...
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    Study: low salt diets not beneficial

    Salt reduction only important in some people with high blood pressure

    Health activists have waged a decade-long war on sodium, citing its role in high blood pressure and cardiovascular risks. They've urged consumers to avoid foods that have high sodium content.

    International researchers have produced a study that takes a contrary view. Yes, too much sodium is harmful to people with high blood pressure, but they maintain that a low-sodium diet for everyone else is not only not beneficial, but may be harmful, increasing cardiovascular risk and even death.

    The study, which may prove to be controversial, included more than 130,000 people from 49 countries. It was led by researchers at McMaster University and Hamilton Health Sciences, in Canada. The researchers focused on the relationship between sodium consumption and death, heart disease, and stroke.

    What made the study different was the separation of the subjects into those with high blood pressure and those with a normal blood pressure reading.

    Surprising result

    The results found that subjects who had a reduced sodium consumption level were more likely to have suffered a heart attack, stroke, or death.

    “These are extremely important findings for those who are suffering from high blood pressure,” said lead author Andrew Mente. “While our data highlights the importance of reducing high salt intake in people with hypertension, it does not support reducing salt intake to low levels.”

    The take-away from the study, Mente says, is a low-sodium diet is best used for people with high blood pressure, but not the public in general. This conflicts with current medical conventional wisdom.

    Current assumptions

    The Mayo Clinic staff notes that Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends limiting sodium to less than 2,300 mg a day. But the staff says “less is usually better,” especially for consumers who are have a sodium sensitivity.

    “If you aren't sure how much sodium your diet should include, talk to your doctor or dietitian,” the staff says on the Mayo Clinic website.

    Without mentioning the Canadian study, the American Heart Association (AMA) has underscored its belief that all people should reduce sodium consumption. It says its lifestyle guidelines on sodium reduction were based on more than 30 scientific studies.

    The organization stands behind a 2014 consensus statement among scientists that concluded “population-wide reduction of sodium intake is an integral approach to reducing cardiovascular disease events and mortality in the United States.”

    But the Canadian researchers say their findings are conclusive, showing that risks associated with low-sodium intake, which they define as less than three grams per day, are consistent whether or not someone has high blood pressure.

    They state that there is a limit below which sodium intake may be unsafe and the risk associated with high sodium consumption appears to only affect those with hypertension.

    Health activists have waged a decade-long war on sodium, citing its role in high blood pressure and cardiovascular risks. They've urged consumers to avoid ...
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      Majority of public pools fail at least one safety test, CDC finds

      Some cases warranted immediate closure

      As warmer weather approaches, public swimming pools will inevitably begin to repopulate. But while taking a dip may be a fun way to beat the heat, the activity may not be as sanitary as you might hope.

      A three-year CDC investigation found that 78.9% of swimming pools failed at least one safety test. The study, which began in 2013, inspected swimming pools in five states including Arizona, California, New York, Florida, and Texas.

      pH levels and safety equipment

      The results of 12.3% of these examinations -- which also included spas and hot tubs -- led to the immediate closure of the area.

      Women’s Health reports that in 14.9% of cases, irritating pH levels were cause for concern; another 12.7% of pools had safety equipment violations that could increase the risk of drowning.

      Pool chemical-associated health events land many swimmers in the emergency room each year, while drowning remains the second-leading cause of injury deaths in children aged 1 to 4.

      The CDC notes that approximately half of fatal drownings in this age group happen in swimming pools. Pools with fences can help reduce the risk of a child drowning, as can teaching children how to swim before the age of 5.

      Additionally, there are a few steps adults can take to ensure that the pool water itself is safe. 

      What to do

      The report notes that “only 68% of U.S. local public health agencies regulate, inspect, or license public aquatic facilities,” so consumers may want to take pool safety into their own hands.

      One way to reduce the risk of a pH level-related health issue is to test the water yourself. Bring pH strips to see if the water’s pH is between 6 and 8. Other ways to protect yourself from pool irritants include wearing goggles while swimming, never drinking the water, and showering afterward. 

      Consumers can also ask pool staff when the pool was last inspected.

      As warmer weather approaches, public swimming pools will inevitably begin to repopulate. But while taking a dip may be a fun way to beat the heat, the acti...
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      Study: most retirees falling behind financially

      Seniors in only three states earning 70% of pre-retirement income

      Consumers approaching retirement are no doubt confused at all the conflicting advice they receive about how much income they will need for a “comfortable” retirement.

      Financial advisors generally suggest that most retirees will need at least 70% of the annual income they earned before retirement. By that metric, a new study from personal finance site Bankrate shows seniors in all but three states – Alaska, Hawaii, and South Carolina – are coming up short.

      "Americans are facing a shortfall of retirement income because their saved assets are not enough to fund their desired or even current lifestyle," James Carlson, chief investment officer at Questis, a financial services firm based in Charleston, South Carolina, told Bankrate.

      The study authors looked at the incomes in each state, broken down by age. The median household income in South Carolina for people age 45 to 64 is $52,289. The median income for those 65 and up is $36,694, which is just over 70% of the younger group.

      The biggest shortfall is found in Massachusetts, where those 65 and older earn just 48% of what those age 45 to 64 earn.

      Reasons for discrepancies

      What causes the discrepancies between states? For one thing, Alaska has very generous retirement benefits for state employees who remain in the state after they retire. Hawaii, another state with a high cost of living, is generous to seniors when it comes to tax breaks. Seniors in Hawaii also tend to spend less on health care.

      South Carolina has become a major retirement destination, and many of the people moving to the state have significant investment and pension income, which boosts the average.

      In today's low-interest environment, savings will yield almost no income. Retirees living off savings will need to consider investments that have potential to either grow the value through capital appreciation or generate income through dividends.

      Those who have a defined benefit pension are fortunate, but since pensions have been phased out over the last couple of decades, fewer workers have access to that kind of steady income.

      Social Security is another defined benefit, but in most cases doesn't go far enough to be a sole source of income.

      What to do

      One of the best ways to generate income in retirement is by working. Someone who has worked for nearly 50 years might not want to contemplate that, but a part-time job in retirement that coincides with the retiree's interest or passions might not seem like work at all.

      If you love animals, for example, you can make pretty good money, with flexible hours, as a pet sitter.

      Along with adding to income, look for ways to cut expenses. Relocating to a state with a low cost of living, for example, might allow you to live on less money.  

      Consumers approaching retirement are no doubt confused at all the conflicting advice they receive about how much income they will need for a “comfortable” ...
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      New home sales surge in April

      Sales are at their highest level in eight years

      Sales of new single-family houses have made up for their March decline -- and then some.

      The Commerce Department reports that sales shot up 16.6% in April to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 619,000. That's the highest level since January 2008 and 23.8% higher than they were a year ago. The increase was the sharpest since January 1992.

      The advance came, according to Stifel Fixed Income Chief Economist Lindsey Piegza, on “continued positive gains in employment, low energy costs, favorable lending conditions, and a relatively stable confidence level, housing activity accelerated in April.”

      Despite earlier signs of stagnant momentum, she said, “the spring selling season appears to be kicking off with a more than decent level of consumer activity.”

      Pricing and inventory

      The median sales price of new houses was a record $321,100 -- up $28,400 from a year earlier, while the average sales price rose $45,100 to $379,800. The median is the point at which half the house sold for more and half for less.

      The seasonally adjusted estimate of new houses for sale at the end of April was 243,000, representing a supply of 4.7 months at the current sales rate.

      Sales by region

      • It was a good month for new-home sales in the Northeast, where they soared 323.1% from March and posted a year-over-year gain of 52.8%.
      • Sales in the West jumped 18.8% from the previous month and were up 23.6% from the same month last year.
      • In the South, sales enjoyed a monthly advance of 15.8% and rose 18.1% from April 2015.
      • The only decline came in the Midwest, where sales were down 4.8% from a month earlier and 9.1% from a year ago.

      The complete report is available on the Commerce Department website.

      Sales of new single-family houses have made up for their March decline -- and then some.The Commerce Department reports that sales shot up 16.6% in Apr...
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      Muscle cars come up short in IIHS safety tests

      None qualify for a TOP SAFETY PICK award

      The term “muscle car” conjures up images of performance, speed, and power. Safety? You would think these behemoths would offer all the protections you need. But, as the song goes, “it ain't necessarily so.”

      The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) recently ran three top sports coupes through their tests and found that none of them racked up the scores necessary for a TOP SAFETY PICK award.

      The Chevrolet Camaro, Dodge Challenger, and Ford Mustang took part in the full battery of crashworthiness evaluations, with the Mustang coming closest to earning TOP SAFETY PICK. The Camaro missed the mark in one category and lacks an available front crash prevention system. The Challenger is most in need of improvement.

      To qualify for the IIHS TOP SAFETY PICK, vehicles must earn good ratings in the small overlap front, moderate overlap front, side, roof strength, and head restraint evaluations and have a basic-rated front crash prevention system.

      How they stack up

      The Camaro, Challenger and Mustang earn good ratings for occupant protection in a moderate overlap front crash, as well as a side impact.

      In the small overlap front test -- the newest and toughest IIHS crashworthiness evaluation -- the Camaro earns a good rating, the Mustang earns an acceptable rating, and the Challenger is rated as marginal.

      "The Mustang is just one good rating away from earning TOP SAFETY PICK," IIHS President Adrian Lund pointed out. "Its small overlap rating holds it back."

      The small overlap test replicates what happens when a vehicle runs off the road and hits a tree or pole or clips another vehicle that has crossed the center line. It is an especially challenging test because it involves a vehicle's outer edges, which aren't well-protected by the crush-zone structures.

      The Challenger wasn't up to the challenge of the small overlap test. Extensive intrusion into the lower occupant compartment limited the driver's survival space and resulted in a poor rating for structure and for leg/foot protection. Measures taken from the dummy indicate a high likelihood of serious lower leg injuries.

      In contrast, survival space for the driver in the Camaro was well-maintained, and the risk of injuries to the dummy's legs and feet was low. The Camaro was redesigned for the 2016 model year.

      "The Camaro's safety cage is built to resist intrusion in a small overlap crash, and that's good news for Camaro drivers," Lund says.

      The Camaro and Mustang earn good ratings for head restraints and seats to protect against neck injuries in rear crashes. The Challenger's head restraints are rated as acceptable.

      The Mustang earns a good rating for roof strength, and the Camaro and Challenger earn acceptable ratings.

      Consumer inquiries

      IIHS doesn't typically crash-test sports cars, as they make up a small share of the consumer market. However, IIHS engineers decided to evaluate these models with optional V-8 engines because they are big sellers in their class, and consumers often ask how they would perform in crash tests.

      Insurance data points to high losses for sports cars. As a group, they have the highest losses among passenger vehicles for crash damage repairs under collision coverage, data from the Highway Loss Data Institute shows. Collision coverage insures against physical damage to the at-fault policyholder's vehicle in a crash.

      "Given that sports cars have high crash rates, it's especially important that they offer the best occupant protection possible in a crash," Lund concluded.

      The term “muscle car” conjures up images of performance, speed, and power. Safety? You would think these behemoths would offer all the protections you need...
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      Pacific Cycle recalls infant bicycle helmets

      The magnetic buckle on the chin strap has small plastic covers and magnets that can come loose

      Pacific Cycle of Madison, Wis., is recalling about 129,000 infant bicycle helmets with magnetic no-pinch buckle chin straps.

      The magnetic buckle on the chin strap contains small plastic covers and magnets that can come loose, posing a risk of choking and magnet ingestion to young children.

      The company has received three reports of the plastic cover coming loose. No injuries have been reported.

      This recall involves infant bicycle helmets made for infants ranging from one to three years old. The helmet and its straps come in various colors and design patterns. The buckles have small plastic covers and enclosed magnets. “SCHWINN” is printed on the front of the helmets. Only helmets with the magnetic no-pinch chin strap buckles are affected by this recall.

      The helmets, manufactured in China, were sold exclusively at Target stores and online at www.target.com from January 2014, through April 2016, for between $18 and $25.

      What to do

      Consumers should immediately take the helmets away from children and contact Pacific Cycle for instructions on how to receive a free replacement helmet.

      Consumers may contact Pacific Cycle toll-free at 877-564-2261 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (CST) Monday through Friday, by email at customerservice@pacific-cycle.com or online at www.schwinnbikes.com and click on “Support” then “Safety & Recalls” or www.target.com and click on “Product Recall” for more information.  

      Pacific Cycle of Madison, Wis., is recalling about 129,000 infant bicycle helmets with magnetic no-pinch buckle chin straps. The magnetic buckle on...
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      Quaker Quinoa Granola Bars recalled

      The product may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes

      The Quaker Oats Company is recalling a small quantity of Quaker Quinoa Granola Bars.

      The product may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes.

      There have been no illnesses reported to date.

      The following products, distributed nationwide, are being recalled:

      • 6.1 ounce boxes of Quaker Quinoa Granola Bars Chocolate Nut Medley with UPC code 30000 32241 and Best Before Dates of: 10/16/2016, 10/17/2016
      • 6.1 ounce boxes of Quaker Quinoa Granola Bars Yogurt, Fruit & Nut with UPC 30000 32243 and Best
      • Before Dates of: 10/10/2016, 10/11/2016

      What to do

      Customers who purchased the recalled products should dispose of or return them to the place of purchase for a full refund.

      Consumers with questions may contact the company at 800-856-5781, Monday – Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. (EST), or online at www.quakeroats.com.

      The Quaker Oats Company is recalling a small quantity of Quaker Quinoa Granola Bars. The product may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes....
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      The Farmers Market Chopped Asian Salad Kit recalled

      The product contains soy, almonds and wheat, allergens not listed on the label

      Fresh Express and Giant Eagle are recalling three cases (containing six (6) salads each) of 6.25-oz. The Farmers Market Chopped Asian Salad Kit .

      The product contains soy, almonds and wheat, allergens not listed on the label.

      No illnesses are reported.

      The following product is being recalled:

      • The Farmers Market Chopped Asian Salad Kit, 6.25-oz. Bowl, Product Code G126B22 and Use-By Date of May 20 located on the bottom label of the package

      Giant Eagle has already retrieved all but three individual salad kit bowls and prevented them from being sold.

      What to do

      Customers who purchased the recalled product should discard it, or return it to the place of purchase for a refund.

      Consumers with questions may contact Fresh Express toll-free at (800) 242-5472 from 8 a.m. – 7 p.m. (E) Time or Giant Eagle at (800) 553-2324 from 9 a.m. – 9 p.m. (ET) Monday through Friday.

      Fresh Express and Giant Eagle are recalling three cases (containing six (6) salads each) of 6.25-oz. The Farmers Market Chopped Asian Salad Kit . T...
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      Toyota expands Takata airbag recall

      Another 1.5 million vehicles are added to the list

      Toyota Motor Sales, USA is expanding its recalls involving Takata front passenger air bag inflators by approximately 1.584 million vehicles.

      A safety defect may arise in front passenger air bag inflators in the involved vehicles due to inflator propellant degradation occurring after prolonged exposure to high absolute humidity, high temperatures and high temperature cycling.

      This may result in an inflator rupture when the air bag deploys.

      Approximately 1,584,000 additional vehicles in U.S. are being recalled. Among them:

      • 2009 - 2011MY Corolla, Matrix
      • 2006 - 2011MY Yaris
      • 2010 - 2011MY 4Runner
      • 2011MY Sienna
      • 2008 - 2011MY Scion xB
      • 2007 - 2011MY Lexus ES
      • 2010 – 2011MY Lexus GX
      • 2006 – 2011MY Lexus IS

      What to do

      Toyota, Scion and Lexus owners will be notified by first class mail. Depending on the vehicle model, dealers will replace the air bag inflator, or the air bag assembly, at no cost.

      Owners may contact Toyota customer service at 1-800-331-4331, or Lexus customer service at 1-800-255-3987.  

      Toyota Motor Sales, USA is expanding its recalls involving Takata front passenger air bag inflators by approximately 1.584 million vehicles. A safe...
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      Survival Capsule offers safety from the storm

      Why dig up your yard to build a shelter? This little red ball says it will keep you safe

      Worried about tsunamis? How about earthquakes, hurricanes, and tornadoes? Storm surges? Riots, dam breaks, societal collapse?

      Well, the good news is you don't need to dig up your back yard or construct a full-scale panic room. Instead, you can just get a Survival Capsule or two, depending on the size of your family. (The base model seats two; others go up to ten).

      The Survival Capsule is, as its name implies, a capsule that you can curl up in when times get tough. Actually, you don't curl up, you're seated comfortably in a sort of bucket seat with four-point harness. That way, if the capsule is battered by the forces of destiny, you don't bounce off the walls and hurt yourself.

      It might sound unlikely, but the manufacturer says the little red balls are just the thing to get you through the perils of modern life. They float, can withstand battering, and most models have their own water and air supply.

      We're told the sphere will "withstand the initial impact of a natural disaster, as well as sharp object penetration, heat exposure, blunt object impact, and rapid deceleration."

      The manufacturer says the capsules -- which are patented as a "personal safety system" -- are tailor-made for people who don't want to depend on the government to keep them safe.

      "Using a PSS, as opposed to a municipal safety system like a safe house, allows individual groups and families to be more in control of their survival in an emergency situation," the company's website says. "The capsule is also a variable disaster solution, which means it can vary position according to the water depth, so it will never be inundated by water levels rising too high. It also provides warmth, safety, and shelter during the initial post-disaster period before rescue crews and relief workers have arrived on the scene."

      The units are available for pre-order, but production hasn't quite ramped up yet, so you'll be on your own this tornado season. 

      Worried about tsunamis? How about earthquakes, hurricanes, and tornadoes? Storm surges? Riots, dam breaks, societal collapse?Well, the good news is you...
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      Discover to provide free FICO credit score to everyone

      Has been providing it free to customers since 2013

      For years, consumers had to pay a fee – or apply for a loan – to see their proprietary FICO credit score. Increasingly, however, financial services firms are providing free access to the score as a way to improve their competitive advantage.

      Discover Card is now expanding that concept, launching its Credit Scorecard that allows consumers – even those who aren't discover cardholders – to access their FICO credit scores for free.

      Discover said it is providing the FICO score, as well as a summary of the financial information from credit agency Experian that is used to determine a consumer’s credit score.

      Consumers can sign up here.

      "At Discover, we think it’s important that consumers have the information they need to manage their credit,” said Roger Hochschild, Discover’s president and CEO.

      Important piece of information

      The FICO credit score is important because it is so widely used within business to determine a consumer’s creditworthiness. Subscription services, like cellphone providers, access the credit score before opening an account. Auto lenders look at the credit score to decide whether or not to extend a loan, and at what rate. The better the credit score, the better the rate.

      Since 2013, Discover has provided free access to the FICO score to its customers, as do several credit card issuers. Discover says it is now the only credit card company providing the score, at no charge, to non-customers.

      Information can improve score

      Discover says a recent poll it conducted helped shape its decision to expand the free credit score service. The survey found that consumers believe just checking a credit score will translate into positive financial actions, such as paying bills on time and keeping down credit card balances.

      In addition, 60% of consumers who had checked their credit score within the last year said they were able to raise their score.

      Along with the FICO credit score, the Credit Scorecard includes the information about what's hurting or helping a consumer's credit picture, such as number of open accounts, number of missed payments, and length of credit history.

      In other words, it provides a snapshot of the information a lender sees when making a judgment on a consumer's credit application.

      For years, consumers had to pay a fee – or apply for a loan – to see their proprietary FICO credit score. Increasingly, however, financial services firms a...
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      Celebrating 50 years of U.S. auto recalls

      Washington conference seeks to build on auto safety activism

      In November 1965 an obscure young lawyer named Ralph Nader published a book called “Unsafe At Any Speed.” Specifically, it focused on the Chevrolet Corvair, but in general it was an indictment of the U.S. auto industry.

      At the time, cost was the biggest factor guiding automotive design and production. Safety was not much of a concern. Cars were not even required to be equipped with seat belts.

      But Nader's book struck a nerve with the public, and 10 months later President Lyndon Johnson signed the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act into law. It created an agency that would become the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), and not long afterward came the first auto safety recall.

      There were 803 vehicle recalls in 2014, involving 63.9 million vehicles, including two of the largest vehicle recalls in history.

      Mobilizing citizen power

      This week in Washington, consumer advocates will celebrate Nader's book and the safety changes it helped usher in. In addition to Nader, speakers at a four day conference will include Phil Donahue, Patti Smith, Jim Hightower, Chris Hedges, Winona LaDuke, and several other citizen activists.

      “The theme of this citizen mobilization will be discovering ways to break through power to secure long-overdue democratic solutions made possible by a new muscular civic nexus between local communities and Washington, D.C.,” the Center for Study of Responsive Law, a sponsoring organization, said in a press release.

      Over the four days at Constitution Hall, speakers will try to motivate existing civic groups to take steps that will make them more effective, using Nader's campaign for auto safety as inspiration.

      When he signed the auto safety legislation nearly a half century ago, President Johnson noted that over the previous weekend, 29 American servicemen had died in Vietnam, while 614 Americans died on the nation's highways.

      Deadlier than war

      “In this century, more than 1.5 million of our fellow citizens have died on our streets and highways: nearly three times as many Americans as we have lost in all our wars,” Johnson said. “Auto accidents are the biggest cause of death and injury among Americans under 35. And if our accident rate continues, one out of every two Americans can look forward to being injured by a car during his lifetime--one out of every two!”

      The bill Johnson signed into law that day required all vehicles on U.S. roads, starting with 1968 models, to meet improved safety standards. It also improved tire standards and set up research and testing centers to investigate the causes of traffic accidents.

      And what became of the Chevrolet Corvair? The car was in its second generation in 1966 when Johnson signed the traffic safety bill. Plans for a third generation were dropped and the car went out of production in 1969.

      In November 1965 an obscure young lawyer named Ralph Nader published a book called “Unsafe At Any Speed.” Specifically, it focused on the Chevrolet Corvair...
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      HMSHost recalls multiple brands of Cape Cod cranberry trail mix

      The products may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes

      HMSHost of Bethesda, Md., is recalling multiple brands of trail mix that have the potential to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes.

      There are no known illnesses to date.

      The 7-oz. packages of trail mix were sold under the brand names Fresh Attractions, 1897, Ciao, Farmers Market, Grounded In, La Tapenade, Marche, MKT, Pronto, PZA, The Local, and Urban Market in stores in the following markets: Arizona, California, Florida, Illinois, Massachusetts, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas and West Virginia.

      The recalled products have a UPC code of 2050000142000 and a use by date from 4/5/16 to 9/17/16.

      What to do

      Customers who purchased the recalled product should not consume it, but return it to the store for a full refund.

      Consumers with questions may contact the firm at 1-877-672-7467 24/7 or by email at customerservice@hmshost.com.

      HMSHost of Bethesda, Md., is recalling multiple brands of trail mix that have the potential to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes. There a...
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      Hy-Vee recalls frozen Vegetable Fried Rice and Chicken Fried Rice

      The products may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes

      Hy-Vee of West Des Moines, Iowa, is recalling its frozen Hy-Vee Vegetable Fried Rice and frozen Hy-Vee Chicken Fried Rice products across its eight-state region.

      The products may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes.

      No illnesses have been reported to date in connection with this product.

      The Vegetable Fried Rice was sold in 1-lb. bags with the UPC number 000007545012530 and a “use by” date of Nov. 5, 2017, or earlier.

      The Chicken Fried Rice was sold in 20-oz. bags with the UPC number 0075450125290 and a “use by” date of Nov. 5, 2017, or earlier.

      The recalled products were sold at Hy-Vee stores in Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, South Dakota and Wisconsin between July 24, 2014, and May 12, 2016.

      What to do

      Customers who purchased the recalled products should discard them or return them to their local Hy-Vee store for a full refund.

      Consumers with questions may contact Hy-Vee customer care 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 1-800-772-4098.

      Hy-Vee of West Des Moines, Iowa, is recalling its frozen Hy-Vee Vegetable Fried Rice and frozen Hy-Vee Chicken Fried Rice products across its eight-state r...
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      Piggly Wiggly brand Yellow Cut Corn recalled

      The product may contain Listeria monocytogenes

      McCall Farms is recalling Piggly Wiggly brand frozen Yellow Cut Corn that may contain Listeria monocytogenes.

      The following product is being recalled:

      • Piggly Wiggly brand Frozen Yellow Cut Corn in a 2 lb bag, UPC number: 4129075181, Lot Code: CORN0J14FXA

      What to do

      Customers who purchased the recalled product should not consume it, but dispose of it properly.

      Consumers with questions may contact McCall Farms consumer affairs line at 1-800-277-2012 from 8am – 5pm (ET).

      McCall Farms is recalling Piggly Wiggly brand frozen Yellow Cut Corn that may contain Listeria monocytogenes. The following product is being recall...
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