As consumers, we do not always think about safety in the products that we purchase; nor do we think about whether we are protected from hazardous chemicals in those products. Under the Consumer Protection and Regulation information is an article that discusses Wal-Mart’s announcement in 2013 that it would phase out 10 hazardous chemicals from the fragrances, cosmetics, household cleaners and personal care products that it sells. The US Toxic Control Substances Act has not had a major update since 1976, therefore, allowing consumer products to be filled with untested chemicals (Koch, 2013). Chemicals such as bisphenol-A (BPA) and polyvinyl chloride (PVC) has already been banned from products (Koch, 2013).
Cesarean deliveries have increased over the years. Many women are denied the option to have or to try for a vaginal birth after Cesarean (VBAC). In a 2005 survey by Childbirth Connection, it was determined that 45% of women who had a C-section with their prior delivery were interested in trying for a VBAC. Of that 45% of women who wanted to try a VBAC, 57% of them were denied by their doctor in fear that there would be complications (Roan, 2010).
- Hazardous chemical: any substance, mixture, or article that satifies the criteria of one or more Globally Harmonised System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS) hazard classes, including a classification in Schedule 6 of the WHS Regulations (Health and Safety, 2018).
- Bisphenol-A (BPA): a chemical produced in large quantities for use primarily in the production of polycarbonate plastics and epoxy resins. Commonly found in water bottles, infant bottles, compact discs, and medical devices (Bispehnol-A (BPA, 2018).
- VBAC: a vaginal birth by a woman who has undergone a cesarean section in a previous pregnancy.
Bisphenol-A (BPA). (2018). National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. https://www.niehs.nih.gov/health/topics/agents/sya-bpa/index.cfm
Health and Safety. (2018). What are Hazardous Chemicals. https://www.hseblog.com/what-are-hazardous-chemicals/
Koch, W. (2013). Wal-Mart announces phase-out of hazardous chemicals. USA Today. https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/09/12/walmart-disclose-phase-out-toxic-chemicals-products-cosmetics/2805567/
Oxford Dictionaries. (2018). English Oxford Living Dictionaries. https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/vbac
Roan, S. (2010). More women should have choice of vaginal birth after C-section, panel says. LA Times. http://www.latimes.com/health/la-he-0323-hosp-vbac-20100323-story.html
Parents and future parents can be very vulnerable when it comes to family planning and babies. These consumers want what is best for their children and will go to great lengths to get it. Unfortunately, retail companies know that consumers are in a vulnerable state at this time and they take advantage of it. This can be done by false advertisements and product price increases. Based on the slide and the readings, consumers can be very easily misinformed. The problem is that consumers buy into it because they want what is best for their children.
I think the best advice to give parents and parents-to-be is that they do not need to go out and buy all sorts of fancy baby products and contraptions. Purchasing the essentials is all that they really need. An infant seat, crib/bassinet, diapers, wipes, clothing, and blankets is all that they really need for the first few months of a baby’s life. It is not necessary to purchase all of the new technological products. Babies grow so quickly that most of these products are only used for a couple of months before the baby grows out of them. So, it really is unnecessary to spend a fortune on all of the baby items that are out there. When I had my first baby 13 years ago, I wanted to make sure that she had the best of everything. So, I went out and bought everything brand new, and made sure that I had the best of everything. Twelve years later I had my second child. I knew better this time around. I purchased most of her clothing from second hand stores and purchased many of the baby products second hand as well. I knew that she would only fit in the clothing for a month or two, so I saw no reason to purchase her clothes brand new. Because babies grow so quickly, most of the clothing at the second hand stores are in next to new condition for the fraction of the cost.
I was particularly drawn to the CP&R article about the Germanwings Flight 9525 plan crash. I may sound naïve, but I had never thought of the fact that one of the trusted pilots could cause the plane to crash intentionally. When I think of plane crashes, specifically commerical planes, my brain automatically goes to terrorism or mechanical malfunctions. With the added security since 9/11, I don’t even really think about terrorism anymore either.
Concerning how well I believe that I am protected as a consumer on a commercial flight, I believe that I am well protected. Considering how many flights there are in the world each day vs. how many intention crashes there are of commercial planes, the likeliness of it happening while I am on a plane is very slim. The article states that applicants are screened during the hiring process, checked against terror watch-lists, and asked to disclose any past suicide attempts or psychological problems (Hall, 2015). It is true that pilots can withhold information, especially psychological information concerning themselves, but in many situations, psychological and mentall health issues can be caught. To prevent intentional crashes from happening, the NTSB has suggested cameras in the cockpit (Hall, 2015). Voice recorders allow investigators to listen to the cockpit, but without cameras they can not fully grasp what is actually going on in the cockpit. The other solution is that two pilots be required to stay in the cockpit at all times, since most of these intention plane crashes happen when the co-pilot steps out of the cockpit (Hall, 2015). Both ideas and suggestions would help to resolve the issue at hand.
Hall, J. (2015). Former NTSB Chairman: ‘We Need Cameras in the Cockpit’. Time.com. http://time.com/3760716/germanwings-plane-crash-pilot-cockpit/