Updates

Report | Maryland Environmental Health Network

Maryland Children’s Environmental Health Progress Report

Because of children’s special vulnerability, reducing environmental risks demands our society’s full attention. Government’s role in this is central. Emerging evidence suggests that the epidemics of obesity and diabetes as well as the rising prevalence of allergic diseases and autism are due, at least in part, to chemical exposures during those most sensitive and vulnerable windows of development, mainly in-utero and the first few years of life.

News Release | Maryland Environmental Health Network

Health Advocates Call for Stronger Protections from Environmental Threats for Children

The Maryland Environmental Health Network (MDEHN) released a report today documenting progress and challenges in protecting children from environmental health threats in Maryland. The 2013 Maryland Children’s Environmental Health Report details how contaminants in a community's environment – in water, land, air, and homes – can harm children – and offers policy-makers strategies for more protective action.

Maryland PIRG 2013 General Assembly Session Priorities

By | Jenny Levin
Public Health Advocate

Maryland PIRG is an advocate for the public interest. Our mission is to deliver persistent, results-oriented public interest activism that protects public health, respects consumers’ rights, encourages a fair, sustainable economy, and fosters a responsive, democratic government. There are hundreds of registered lobbyists in Annapolis all are looking out for one particular segment of the population or special interest; we are one of the few groups working in the Capitol whose job is to think about what’s good for EVERYONE.

Trouble in Toyland

By | Laura Muth
Democracy Associate

It’s a holiday morning and kids all over the world are waking up to open their presents. Big smiles and laughter abound.  What could be wrong with this picture?

Report | Maryland PIRG Foundation | Consumer Protection

TROUBLE IN TOYLAND

The enactment of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) of 2008 made great strides in toy safety and strengthened the ability of the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to protect consumers, including the littlest consumers—children. Although policymakers delayed implementation of its most stringent lead standard rules and enacted some narrow exceptions in 2011, on the whole the law has been protected from attempts to undermine it. However, we remain vigilant as a variety of regulatory threats to the CPSC’s tools and authority remain under consideration by policymakers.

News Release | Maryland PIRG Foundation | Consumer Protection

Survey Finds Dangerous Toys on Store Shelves

This morning Maryland PIRG Foundation released the report, revealing the results of laboratory testing on toys for lead, cadmium and phthalates, all of which have been proven to have serious adverse health impacts on the development of young children.  The survey also found small toys that pose a choking hazard, extremely loud toys that threaten children’s hearing, and toy magnets that can cause serious injury.

Report | U.S. PIRG Education Fund, Maryland PIRG Foundation | Consumer Protection, Financial Reform

BIG BANKS, BIGGER FEES

Over the last six months, state PIRG staff conducted inquiries at 250 bank and 116 credit union branches in 17 states and the District of Columbia and reviewed bank fees online in these and 7 other states. This report, “Big Banks, Bigger Fees: A National Survey of Fees and Disclosure Compliance,” examines the following questions:

 How easy is it for consumers to shop around? Are banks complying with the Truth In Savings Act, which requires disclosure of a schedule of account fees to prospective customers?

 Can consumers still find free or low-cost checking accounts or has free checking ended?

 What can the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and other regulators do to help improve transparency in the financial marketplace?

News Release | Maryland PIRG Foundation | Consumer Protection, Financial Reform

NEW SURVEY SHOWS FREE CHECKING WIDELY AVAILABLE AT SMALL BANKS BUT BANKS STILL HIDING FEES FROM CONSUMERS

A survey of hundreds of banks and credit unions in 24 states and the District of Columbia found that free checking remains available at more than 6 out of 10 small banks and credit unions but was only found at one-quarter of surveyed big banks (those with over $10 billion in deposits). The survey released today by the U.S. Public Interest Research Group also revealed that fewer than half of branches surveyed obeyed their legal duty to fully disclose fees to prospective customers on the first request, while 12% provided no fee information at all.

Yesterday, in one of the few government buildings open for business during Hurricane Sandy, the Supreme Court heard an important case,Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons, Inc, concerning whether publishers can restrict owners of books from reselling their used legally-purchased copies. 

Here’s that Rx refill you didn’t order

By | Jenny Levin
Public Health Advocate

Is your pharmacy refilling your prescription without your knowledge or approval, and billing your insurance company for the cost?

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