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Blog Post | Consumer Protection

CFPB receives over 2,500 junk fee comments | Ed Mierzwinski

In response to a tidal wave of unfair marketplace practices, the CFPB asked the public to submit comments on the impact of junk fees on their lives. Some 2,500 comments later, consumers have described the pain points caused by unfair junk fees.

Cover graphic courtesy Student Borrower Protection Center, used by permission

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Blog Post | Consumer Tips

8 ways you can be a smart consumer and also be kind to the environment | Teresa Murray

In recognition of Earth Day, here are some ways you can cut back on what you throw away and, in many cases, save money and protect yourself at the same time

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Blog Post | Consumer Tips, Food, Solid Waste

How to Save Food and Prevent Waste | Danielle Melgar

We all play a role in creating food waste, so we can all be part of the solution.

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News Release | Illinois PIRG Education Fund

New scorecard grades popular apparel brands on commitments to avoiding PFAS

Illinois PIRG Education Fund, Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc.(NRDC) and Fashion FWD released a scorecard on Wednesday ranking popular retail and apparel brands on policy commitments to eliminate a dangerous class of toxic “forever chemicals,” known as PFAS, from their products.

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Report | U.S. PIRG Education Fund, NRDC and Fashion FWD

Going Out of Fashion

PFAS use in apparel and other consumer products is coming under increased scrutiny from lawmakers. However, apparel manufacturers and retail stores don’t need to wait for the law to catch up to the proliferation of toxic PFAS. They can get out in front of the regulatory curve and protect their customers and the planet from PFAS pollution by immediately adopting policies to end the use of PFAS in clothing, footwear, and accessories. Indeed, some already have. 

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News Release | U.S. PIRG Education Fund | Consumer Tips, COVID-19

STATEMENT: Nursing home vaccine mandate will save lives

"We applaud the move to get more nursing home staff vaccinated. This will save lives."

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News Release | Illinois PIRG Education Fund

Average Peoples Gas customer paying more than $13 per month for mismanaged pipe replacement program

Peoples Gas released a second quarter report Friday on its troubled pipe replacement program. The report shows that the average Peoples Gas customer paid a $13.14 monthly surcharge for the program over the past quarter -- more than eleven times the $1.14 per month the legislature was told customers would pay when it passed a law authorizing the surcharge in 2013. In June, the surcharge accounted for 17 percent of the average customer’s bill, almost as much as the cost of the gas itself.  

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News Release | US PIRG | Consumer Tips, Consumer Protection

Back to school: financial literacy tips for college students, teens

During this time of year, families are thinking about the children going back to school, and for parents who are sending their kids to college, it can be a bit overwhelming. A key to addressing those concerns is making sure their teens are prepared for “adulting” -- in other words, taking care of their own lives.

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Statement: Johnson & Johnson recalls sunscreen products after tests detect carcinogens

Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc. said Wednesday it’s voluntarily recalling all lots of five types of Neutrogena and Aveeno aerosol sunscreen after internal testing showed “low levels of benzene” -- which can cause cancer -- in some samples. J&J also said consumers should stop using the sunscreen.

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Statement: Johnson & Johnson recalls sunscreen products after tests detect carcinogens

Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc. said Wednesday it’s voluntarily recalling all lots of five types of Neutrogena and Aveeno aerosol sunscreen after internal testing showed “low levels of benzene” -- which can cause cancer -- in some samples. J&J also said consumers should stop using the sunscreen.

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Report | Illinois PIRG Education Fund | Public Health

In Your Face: makeup contaminated with asbestos

Illinois PIRG tested over a dozen makeup products that contained talc from a variety of stores and brands, including children’s and teen’s products as well as adult’s products, and found 3 products containing asbestos currently sold by Claire's retail company.

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Report | Illinois PIRG Education Fund | Public Health

In Your Face

The negative health effects of asbestos are well-known. Most people may associate asbestos contamination with the workplace or decades-old construction material, but alarmingly, recent media reports have found asbestos contamination in kids' makeup from popular stores. PIRG decided to do its own asbestos testing at an accredited laboratory.

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Report | Illinois PIRG Education Fund | Transportation

Plugging In

The adoption of large numbers of electric vehicles (EVs) offers many benefits for cities, including cleaner air and the opportunity to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. But with more EVs on the road, and many more coming soon, cities will face the challenge of where electric vehicles will charge, particularly in city centers and neighborhoods without off-street residential parking.

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Report | Illinois PIRG Education Fund | Consumer Protection

Trouble in Toyland 2017

For over 30 years, U.S. PIRG Education Fund has conducted an annual survey of toy safety, which has led to over 150 recalls and other regulatory actions over the years, and has helped educate the public and policymakers on the need for continued action to protect the health and wellbeing of children.

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Report | U.S. PIRG Education Fund | Consumer Protection

Lead In Fidget Spinners

While lead in toys has become less prevalent in recent years, U.S. PIRG Education Fund tested several models of one of today’s hottest toys, fidget spinners, for the toxic heavy metal. Laboratory results indicated that two fidget spinners purchased at Target and distributed by Bulls i Toy, L.L.C. contained extremely high levels of lead. U.S. PIRG Education Fund calls on Target and Bulls i Toy to immediately recall these two fidget spinners and investigate how such high levels of lead were found in these toys. Also, we call on the U.S.

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Blog Post | COVID-19

Dealing with winter storm Kenan: Protect yourself, your home and your finances | Teresa Murray

With the massive winter storm that's expected to hit the East Coast this weekend, 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.

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Blog Post | COVID-19

Airlines choose money over safety with relaxed COVID policies | Jacob van Cleef

Though reducing isolation periods saves airlines money, it is the most irresponsible choice that could lead to more employees and customers getting sick.

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Blog Post | Consumer Tips

Why the CPSC can't do enough to protect consumers from dangerous products | Hannah Rhodes

Of the 23 deaths reported in connection with products recalled in 2021, 19 actually occurred in previous years. It can take months or years for the public to be warned about dangerous products because federal laws favor corporations, not consumers.

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Blog Post | COVID-19

How to spot counterfeit N95, KN95 masks before you buy them | Teresa Murray

You may be setting aside those cloth or surgical masks and shopping for some N95 masks or KN95s that are supposed to be widely available. But . . . there unfortunately are lots of counterfeit products out there too.
 

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Blog Post

There are lessons for pre-schoolers, pre-teens, high schoolers and certainly, young adults going off to college or moving out.

News Release | U.S. PIRG Education Fund

Manufacturers will need to ensure that the battery compartments that use button or coin batteries are not easily accessible by children age 6 and younger.

Blog Post

Here are the steps to getting a written good faith estimate before receiving scheduled medical care. 

Blog Post

One year after new law, robocalls are down and compliance is up, but skyrocketing robotexts are the latest problem

Solid Waste

PIRG hosts webinar with MythBusters' Adam Savage on Right to Repair

Our national network and the Right to Repair team organized a summit featuring keynote speaker Adam Savage from MythBusters. He shared his thoughts with us on the movement and we discussed our current progress on the Right to Repair campaign.

 

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Illinois PIRG Education Fund is part of The Public Interest Network, which operates and supports organizations committed to a shared vision of a better world and a strategic approach to social change.