Illinois PIRG Education Fund Latest Blog Posts

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Teresa Murray
Consumer Watchdog

Being a consumer is tough. We want to help make it a little easier. In recognition of Consumer Protection Week from Feb. 28-March 6, U.S. PIRG is providing key consumer protection advice. Check in here every day for our updated tips and tools. 

Once again, product testing demonstrates that the risk of asbestos contamination in talc-based cosmetic products is simply too high to accept.

We hear from the author and journalist on secondhand clothing, the fashion industry’s addiction to cheap fossil fuels and how to break the waste cycle.

We need to make it easier for clothing companies to reuse and recycle. Policy, data collection and nonprofits can help.

 | by
Teresa Murray
Consumer Watchdog

Here are some tips to help consumers protect themselves during and after a disaster, including how to spot possible opportunists, bad deals and con-artists.

We hear from the fashion industry expert and journalist on tech solutions to clothing overstock problems and how policy can drive industry change.

 | by
Teresa Murray
Consumer Watchdog

Consumers still at risk for harmful over-the-counter drug products of all types because of soft federal regulations.

Cancer devastates millions of American families every year. While not all cancer cases are preventable, February is National Cancer Prevention Month, and it’s time we start a conversation about eliminating the many cancer-linked chemicals in our cosmetic and personal care products.

The CFPB’s Consumer Complaint Database is a powerful tool for understanding the problems consumers face in the financial marketplace. The more people that use it — and the more people that publicize the tool’s utility and write to the CFPB with suggestions — the better off we will all be.

 | by
Abe Scarr
Illinois PIRG State Director

Imagine you go to a hospital for a routine procedure. You’ve made sure your hospital and doctor are covered by your insurance. The procedure goes well and you head home to recover. Two weeks later, you get the bill, but instead of the copay you expected, you get a bill for nearly $4,000. Turns out, the anesthesiologist who assisted with your procedure was “out of network” and your insurance won’t cover that bill as expected. You’ve received a surprise medical bill and now owe the difference between what your insurance will pay the out-of-network anesthesiologist and what you were billed.