Can You Trust What You Use? A Look at Common Products and Their Safety Issues

In today’s fast-paced world, from the moment we wake up until the time we go to bed, we rely on countless items to make our lives easier and more efficient. However, lurking beneath the surface of this convenience is a troubling reality: many of these products have the potential to cause serious harm.

Take the case of Ms. Emily Wright (38), a teacher from Toronto who wanted to lose weight. Her doctor prescribed Ozempic, a medication touted for its effectiveness in weight loss. The drug did help her lose weight (80 lbs. in one year).

However, upon discontinuing the medication, she experienced severe and persistent vomiting. Her vomiting, on certain occasions, would get so bad that she had to take a leave of absence from her work. The brutal side effects of the drug impacted both her health and professional life.

This case emphasizes the critical importance of comprehensive disclosure regarding potential side effects associated with consumer goods. In this blog post, we will take a closer look at four commonly used products and explore the potential dangers they pose to consumers. 

Children’s Toys

The coming years are expected to witness a substantial surge in the global toy market. According to projections, the market might expand from a value of $141.08 billion in 2021 to $230.64 billion by 2028. 

Stringent regulatory standards drive the production of these toys, necessitating rigorous quality and safety testing. 

However, despite these measures, certain types of toys manage to bypass regulations, leading to product recalls that have left parents shocked and concerned.

Choking hazards and the presence of toxic lead paint are two of the most common safety issues associated with children’s toys. Small parts, such as buttons or loose accessories, can easily detach from a toy. A child can unknowingly swallow them and be at risk of choking. 

While seemingly harmless, lead paint, a prevalent material in toy production, poses a significant threat to neurological health if ingested.

One of the biggest toy product recalls happened in 2007 when over 400,000 toys were taken off the market. Mattel, the producer of these toys, was sued by many parents because the toys allegedly had high amounts of lead, a toxic chemical. 

In another incident, a recent USA Today report highlighted safety concerns surrounding the Chuckle & Roar Ultimate Water Beads Activity Kits. The report detailed several injuries and the tragic death of a 10-month-old child who swallowed water beads from the kit.

These recalls and increasing consumer awareness serve as a stark reminder that even trusted brands can fall short when it comes to ensuring the safety of their products.

Pressure Cookers

Pressure cookers have always been popular, thanks to their ability to prepare meals quickly and efficiently. However, this convenience comes with a caveat: when pressure cookers malfunction, the consequences can be devastating.

TorHoerman Law warns that clogged valves or unsealed lids can cause the inside pressure to build to dangerous levels, risking an explosion. Such an explosion can cause the lid to detach violently, sending scalding hot contents flying across the kitchen, putting you at risk of burns and injuries.

While modern pressure cookers are equipped with safety features such as pressure release valves and locking lids, these mechanisms can fail, particularly if the appliance is poorly maintained or used incorrectly.

In 2023, Nidia Rico, a woman from Colombia, suffered first-degree burns because of a pressure cooker explosion. Similar cases have been filed across the country, alleging that defective designs and inadequate safety mechanisms have led to life-altering injuries.


The USA has stringent policies for all medications before they enter the market. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) enforces rigorous regulations, demanding extensive clinical trials to evaluate a drug’s safety and effectiveness before it reaches the market.

However, even with these stringent controls, the potential for unforeseen side effects remains a significant concern.

Vioxx, an arthritis medication, enjoyed a lustrous five-year run before a shocking recall in 2004. Merck, the manufacturer, was sued by consumers for $6 billion. By the time of the recall, over 20 million prescriptions had been filled. Moreover, estimates suggest that around 140,000 users suffered heart attacks or strokes after consuming Vioxx.

The Vioxx example highlights the blatant disregard for consumer safety in favor of market profits. 

Hair Straighteners and Relaxers

Bree-Shawna Watts was a typical school-going kid of color who used hair relaxers from the tender age of five. For kids like Watts, their hair texture and type were pretty different from the rest of her white classmates. Hair straighteners and relaxers helped them fit in. 

However, when she turned 32, she received a life-altering diagnosis—uterine cancer. This unforeseen health crisis necessitated a hysterectomy, a surgical intervention that removed her entire uterus, sparing only the ovaries and fallopian tubes. She sued L’Oreal for undermarketing the risks associated with their hair products, which, according to her, were the cause of her cancer.

One of the most alarming health hazards linked to hair straighteners is the presence of formaldehyde, a known carcinogen. Studies have shown that exposure to formaldehyde can cause respiratory irritation, and allergic reactions, and even increase the risk of certain types of cancer, such as leukemia and nasopharyngeal cancer.

Moreover, studies have also found harmful toxins, like phthalates and parabens, in hair relaxers. These chemicals, which are often used as preservatives or to enhance the performance of the product, have been linked to endocrine disruption and developmental issues.

In conclusion, the safety concerns surrounding everyday items serve as a stark reminder that, in today’s world of cutthroat competition, flashy marketing can be a false gimmick. You need to trust only valid sources.

By staying informed about product recalls, reporting adverse events, and thoroughly researching items before purchasing, you can play a vital role in protecting yourself and your loved ones. 

It is essential to prioritize safety when using everyday products and to hold manufacturers accountable for ensuring the highest standards of quality and safety.