Despite numerous reports of destruction and even death, many couples still insist on throwing elaborate and risky gender reveal parties—often with unintended consequences.

Carrier Management first warned readers about the possible risks from gender reveal parties back in November 2019, after a 56-year-old woman in Iowa was killed by a homemade explosive that was meant to spray colorful powder into the air but instead exploded like a pipe bomb. Two years prior, an off-duty Border Patrol agent shot a target filled with an explosive powder and blue coloring to signal that he was expecting a son, accidentally starting a 47,000-acre wildfire that caused more than $8 million in damage in southern Arizona. And those are just two examples, cited in a 2019 AP report.

Celebratory cannons and other explosive devices used at gender reveal parties already have killed a number of people in 2021. The latest news: A Southern California couple who used a smoke bomb for their gender reveal on Sept. 5, 2020 is now being charged with 30 crimes—including involuntary manslaughter. The couple’s gimmick allegedly sparked the El Dorado wildfire, which destroyed several homes and burned more than 22,000 acres across two counties. It also caused the death of a firefighter who was battling the blaze.

Source: “A couple whose 2020 gender reveal party allegedly sparked a deadly wildfire in California has been charged in the death of a firefighter,” CNN, July 21, 2021; “Pink or blue? Some gender reveal parties take dangerous turn,” Associated Press, Nov. 1, 2019


‘Overheating brakes are causing fires in trucks.

U.S. highway safety regulators have opened an investigation into about a half-million semis with brakes that can catch fire.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says in documents posted on its website July 20 that it has 11 complaints about brakes made by Haldex Commercial Vehicle Systems, including seven fires. No injuries were reported.

The complaints say problems occurred mostly on Kenworth and Peterbilt semis. The agency is investigating brakes from the 2015 through 2020 model years.

NHTSA said an estimated 500,000 trucks may be affected.

The investigation covers certain Haldex Gold Seal brake chambers, which convert compressed air into a mechanical force that stops the trucks. NHTSA says a spring can fracture, puncturing a diaphragm and causing air loss. That can make the brakes drag without warning to the driver and eventually cause fires, which can cause extensive damage to the trucks and in some cases the cargo.

NHTSA says it will determine how often the problem happens and what models it affects. An investigation can lead to a recall.

Source: “US Probes Overheating Brakes That Cause Fires in 500K Semis,” Associated Press/Claims Journal, July 21, 2021


‘Forever chemicals’ found in cosmetics.

More than half the cosmetics sold in the United States and Canada contain a toxic industrial compound associated with serious health conditions, including cancer and reduced birth weight, according to a recent study.

Researchers at the University of Notre Dame tested more than 230 commonly used cosmetics and found that 56 percent of foundations and eye products, 48 percent of lip products and 47 percent of mascaras contained fluorine—an indicator of PFAS, so-called “forever chemicals” that are used in nonstick frying pans, rugs and countless other consumer products.

Some of the highest PFAS levels were found in waterproof mascara (82 percent) and long-lasting lipstick (62 percent), according to the study published in the journal Environmental Science & Technology Letters. Twenty-nine products with higher fluorine concentrations were tested further and found to contain between four and 13 specific PFAS chemicals. Only one item listed PFAS, or perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances, as an ingredient on the label.

Source: “Half of Cosmetics Contain Toxic PFAS Chemicals,” Associated Press/Insurance Journal, June 17, 2021; “Fluorinated Compounds in North American Cosmetics,” Environmental Science and Technology Letters, June 15, 2021;Use of PFAS in cosmetics ‘widespread,’ new study finds,” Notre Dame News, June 15,2021