As one would expect cars, tobacco and alcohol cause the greatest number of deaths and injuries. But this survey of eight most hazardous products in the US finds that dangers lurk everywhere - including the playroom.
Car crashes Every year nearly 50,000 people die and 4 million are injured, with thousands being crippled for life. That’s equivalent to a majorairline crash with no survivors every day of the year. In the next ten years every American can expect to be in a car accident.
Snuffing it US government estimates that cigarettes play a major role in more than 300,000 ‘premature’ deaths each year from disease. Also, cigarettes are the number one cause of deaths from residential fires.
Down the hatch 13 million Americans abuse or are addicted to alcohol. This is a major cause of tens of thousands of deaths and millions of injuries from accidents involving automobiles, boats and weapons. Medical bills, time missed from work, property damage and other associated costs of alcohol abuse totalled an estimated $100 billion in 1982 in the USA.
Perilous playthings Each year more than 1 00,000 toys-related injuries are reported, most caused by falls on or against toys and by children choking, swallowing small parts or cutting themselves on sharp edges. Toy guns, slings and bows and an’ows are especially dangerous injuring some 25,000 a year.
Bike rider As roads get busier and cars go faster each year thousands of riders lose their lives and more than half a million are injured. Improved user and manufacturer attention to safety could reduce injuries.
Saw points Over 100,000 Americans a year are hurt by power saws and many have serious injuries involving the loss of a finger, a toe or hand. Bums and electrocutions are also a hazard.
Lawn clippings More than 50,000 accidents occur each yearfrom lawnmowers and grass/leaf catchers.
Home hazards Some of the most dangerous products are household cleansers because they contain highly toxic substances like caustic used in oven/drain cleaners or ammonia/bleach. Each year more than 25,000 people are injured by these products, especially children.
Source: US Consumer Pmduct Safety Commission and Consumer Federation of America.