Safety Issues in 2018 February 21, 2018
The top safety concerns for 2018 were recently posted on ConsumerSafety.org, an advocacy group dedicated to researching and sharing important news and updates on product safety affecting the public. While we are still in the beginning of 2018, there are already a host of safety concerns on the horizon. According to this advocacy group, Kobe Steel, self-driving cars, and the Food and Drug Administration are the biggest risks this year.
The first issue of concern comes from Kobe Steel workers who report that they have been manipulating structural safety data for their copper and aluminum metal products for years. This poses a global safety hazard as many car and airplane manufacturers, trains, and nuclear power companies rely on Kobe Steel to make their products.
Among the leading companies that use Kobe Steel products in the production of their equipment are Honda, Toyota, Boeing, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Japan Nuclear Fuel, Panasonic, Toshiba, Bosch, Hyundai, Kia, Ford, and Suzuki. Kobe Steel first admitted the manipulation of safety data in October 2017. Safety experts are hoping that the company identifies the parts that were compromised and initiates a widespread safety recall.
Another area of concern on the horizon involves the evolving industry of self-driving cars. As more of these vehicles are being tested, the biggest safety concern remains for pedestrians, not drivers or passengers of these cars. Unpredictable human behavior is yet to be mastered by car manufacturers, which leaves concern for public safety if the cars become more plentiful on the roads before the issue is addressed.
As with most emerging technology, issues with establishing industry and regulatory standards tend to evolve behind the implementation of new technology. If this is the case, there may be more at stake than just minor fender benders.
Faster FDA Drug Approval
There is a growing concern over a newly proposed Food and Drug Administration (FDA) drug approval process. The federal government is considering changes to the approval process that will expedite the use of new medications awaiting approval. The main concern is shifting the approval of new drugs from the medical professionals that test the safety and efficacy of a product to a panel of bureaucrats.
The new model is like that used by the European Medicines Agency (EMA). However, the current FDA process is faster than the EMA. The looming question that remains is whether faster is safer. Allowing new medications to hit the public market before there are remedies to potential problems with the drugs could lead to more health-related emergencies.
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