H&M Recalls Men’s Clasp Beaded Bracelets Due to Lead Poisoning Hazard; High Levels of Lead Content

The following content is from the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission on September 21, 2023 and was not written by HVHD.


Name of Product:

Men’s clasp beaded bracelets


The clasp on the beaded bracelet contains levels of lead that exceed the federal lead content ban. Lead is toxic if ingested by young children and can cause adverse health effects.



Recall Date:

September 21, 2023


About 12,290

Recall Details


This recall involves men’s clasp beaded bracelets. The double strand bracelet is made with glass and wooden beads and has a trigger clasp. The bracelet has brown, green and orange beads.


Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled men’s clasp beaded bracelet and contact H&M to return the product in a prepaid mailer for a full refund. 


None reported

Sold At:

H&M stores nationwide and online at www.hm.com from January 2023 through July 2023 for about $13.


H&M Hennes & Mauritz L.P., of New York

Manufactured In:


Recall number:


Fast Track Recall

Note: Individual Commissioners may have statements related to this topic. Please visit www.cpsc.gov/commissioners to search for statements related to this or other topics.

HVHD hosts walk-in flu shot clinics

For Immediate Release:

Flu season is officially here, and Housatonic Valley Health District’s (HVHD) is encouraging residents to get their flu shot to remain healthy and safe. HVHD will be hosting public flu clinics in the community and at their offices starting October 17th. 

Office clinics will be held on Tuesdays from 3:30 pm – 5:30 pm at their Southbury Clinic Location (77 Main Street N, Southbury, CT 06488) and on Wednesdays from 2:30 pm – 4:30 pm at their New Milford Clinic Location (2 Pickett District Road, New Milford, CT 06776). HVHD will also be hosting clinics throughout their communities at select locations on Saturdays from 9:00 am – 12:00 pm. Appointments are recommended but not required.

Amy Bethge, Director of Health at HVHD, states, “As the temperatures cool and the leaves begin to change, we see an increase in seasonal respiratory viruses. We should all be taking precautions to protect ourselves, families, and communities by getting your flu vaccine every year. We are excited to do our part in protecting our communities by offering public flu clinics. Flu vaccines are recommended for anyone 6 months and older unless otherwise directed by a physician. We are excited to partner with RVNA to keep our communities healthy this flu season.”

HVHD Community Flu Vaccine Clinics are as follows:

October ClinicsNovember Clinics
Tuesday, October 17
3:30 pm – 5:30 pm
Southbury Clinic Location
77 Main Street N, Southbury, CT

Saturday, November 4
9:00 am – 12:00 pm
Pomperaug High School
234 Judd Rd, Southbury, CT 06488
Wednesday, October 18
2:30 pm – 4:30 pm
New Milford Clinic Location
2 Pickett District Road, New Milford, CT 06776
Tuesday, November 7
3:30 pm – 5:30 pm
Southbury Clinic Location
77 Main Street N, Southbury, CT
Saturday, October 21
9:00 am – 12:00 pm
Sarah Noble Intermediate School
 25 Sunny Valley Rd, New Milford, CT 06776
Wednesday, November 8
2:30 pm – 4:30 pm
New Milford Clinic Location
2 Pickett District Road, New Milford, CT 06776
Tuesday, October 24
3:30 pm – 5:30 pm
Southbury Clinic Location
77 Main Street N, Southbury, CT
Tuesday, November 14
3:30 pm – 5:30 pm
Southbury Clinic Location
77 Main Street N, Southbury, CT
Wednesday, October 25
2:30 pm – 4:30 pm
New Milford Clinic Location
2 Pickett District Road, New Milford, CT 06776
Wednesday, November 15
2:30 pm – 4:30 pm
New Milford Clinic Location
2 Pickett District Road, New Milford, CT 06776
Saturday, October 28
9:00 am – 12:00 pm
Oxford High School
61 Quaker Farms Rd, Oxford, CT 06478
Saturday, November 18, 2023 
9:00 am – 12:00 pm 
Newtown Middle School
11 Queen St, Newtown, CT 06470

To schedule an appointment, visit https://hvhd.as.me/community-flu to schedule an appointment.

To learn more about HVHD’s upcoming flu clinics or schedule an appointment, visit (https://hvhdct.gov/immunizations/flu-vaccinations/). If you have any questions about our upcoming clinics, you can contact the Housatonic Valley Health District by calling 203-264-9616 or emailing cht@hvhdct.gov.

The Housatonic Valley Health District serves New Milford, Oxford, Southbury, Washington, and Woodbury. The Housatonic Valley Health District’s mission is to create better health outcomes and promote the highest attainable standard of health. It accomplishes this through three principles: prevention, education, and outreach. HVHD prevents disease, injury, and disability for its communities through regular inspections of public and private businesses and homes to ensure conditions exist where people can be healthy. HVHD uses education to inform the public and health practitioners on public health best practices, policy information, and the impacts and methods of prevention for the spread of communicable diseases. HVHD conducts outreach to engage their communities that experience obstacles in accessing the public health services they need, deliver vaccines to the community, and advocate for needed and beneficial health policies.

U.S. Will Resume Offering Free At-Home Covid Tests

The following content is from the News Times on September 20, 2023 and was not written by HVHD.

The Biden administration, looking ahead to a possible winter surge of Covid-19, announced on Wednesday that it was reviving its program of offering Americans free coronavirus tests through the mail and would spend $600 million to buy tests from a dozen domestic manufacturers.

The website for the program, covidtests.gov, will begin accepting orders on Monday, and households will receive four tests. Dawn O’Connell, the assistant secretary for preparedness and response at the Department of Health and Human Services, said the money would fund the purchase of 200 million tests to replenish the nation’s stockpile as tests are sent out.

But a byproduct of the program, Ms. O’Connell said, is that it will shore up domestic manufacturing capacity in the event of another serious coronavirus surge. And if there is a spike in demand, she said, the department has given the manufacturers permission to sell the tests directly to retailers ahead of the government.

Coronavirus hospitalizations have been on the rise in the United States, though they remain low compared with earlier stretches of the pandemic, and free tests are now harder to come by for many Americans. While private insurers had previously been required to cover up to eight at-home tests per month, that requirement ended when the Biden administration allowed the public health emergency for the coronavirus to expire in May.

The administration first began offering free at-home coronavirus tests through the Postal Service early last year after the Omicron variant caused cases to soar. More than 600 million tests were distributed before officials halted the program late that summer, citing a lack of funding. The administration then resumed offering tests late last year before halting the program again this spring.

The announcement on Wednesday came as President Biden’s health secretary, Xavier Becerra, tried to drum up interest in the newly approved coronavirus vaccines by getting his own Covid and flu shots at a CVS pharmacy in Washington. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended last week that all Americans 6 months and older receive at least one dose of the reformulated Covid vaccines from Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna.

With the chief executives of Pfizer and Moderna standing beside him, Mr. Becerra invoked his own mother, who is about to turn 90 and, he said, has not had Covid-19.

“I feel comfortable, having gotten the shots, that I could hug and kiss my mother and not be responsible for getting her sick,” he said, adding, “No one is safe until everyone is safe.”

Connecticut to offer drug discount card in October

The following content is from the News Times on September 15, 2023 and was not written by HVHD.

The state is launching a drug discount card program next month that will allow all Connecticut residents to save on certain types of prescription drugs.

Enrollment in the ArrayRx program will begin on Oct. 2. In order to make the program possible, Connecticut entered into a multi-state consortium that also operates in Nevada, Oregon, and Washington.

Here’s what you need to know about the program:

Is there a cost to join the program?

No. There are also no age or income restrictions to join.

How do you enroll?

Starting Oct. 2, visit the ArrayRx web site and enter your name, your email address, birth date, home address and zip code. After signing up, you will be emailed a digital discount card.

Where can the discount card be used?

State officials anticipate the card will be honored at about 98% of pharmacies in Connecticut. A search feature is available on the ArrayRx web site to help consumers determine if their pharmacy is part of the program.

What drugs are eligible for discounts?

All FDA-approved drugs are eligible for a discount; to check on the discounts for specific drugs, visit the ArrayRx web site.

How much will I save?

Discounts vary from drug to drug, but on some prescription medicines, consumers using the ArrayRx card can save as much as 80%.

Elephant tranquilizer xylazine fueling state’s surge of fatal overdoses

The following content is from the News Times on August 27, 2023 and was not written by HVHD.

A tranquilizer used on elephants, mixed with the deadly opioid fentanyl, has helped to fuel the surge in overdose deaths in Connecticut and across the country, health experts say.

Xylazine, a legal drug used by veterinarians, is often mixed with the powerful synthetic opioid fentanyl. This deadly cocktail can lead to kidney issues, heart problems, loss of the use of arms or legs, and death.

“It’s a large animal sedative,” said Jennifer Muggeo, deputy director at the Ledge Light Health District in New London County. “They use it when they’re operating on elephants.”

Xylazine, according to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency, is on the rise across the nation. In the northeast, the DEA’s forensic laboratory saw a 61 percent increase in identifications of xylazine between 2020 and 2021.

In Connecticut, xylazine-related overdoses first came to the attention of public health officials in 2019, according to state data. In 2020, there were 141 overdose deaths linked to a combination of fentanyl and xylazine. That number more than doubled to 298 in 2021, increasing to 354 in 2022.

By July 31 of this year, there were 150 deaths in Connecticut related to xylazine.

Xylazine, unlike heroin or fentanyl, is legal. “It is legitimately sold directly through pharmaceutical distributors and internet sites catering to veterinarians,” according to a 2022 DEA report, costing as little as $6 for a kilogram.

“At this low price, its use as an adulterant may increase the profit for illicit drug traffickers, as its psychoactive effects allows them to reduce the amount of fentanyl or heroin used in a mixture,” the DEA report says. “It may also attract customers looking for a longer high since xylazine is described as having many of the same effects for users as opioids, but with a longer-lasting effect than fentanyl alone.”

“Xylazine is making the deadliest drug threat our country has ever faced, fentanyl, even deadlier,” DEA Administrator Anne Melissa Milgram said in a public safety report. “DEA has seized xylazine and fentanyl mixtures in 48 of 50 States. The DEA Laboratory System is reporting that in 2022 approximately 23 percent of fentanyl powder and 7 percent of fentanyl pills seized by the DEA contained xylazine.”

‘Horrific wounds’

Muggeo explained that not every person who uses substances knows their fentanyl is laced with xylazine, but some do, expecting the sedative to help with symptoms of withdrawal.

“The problem is, it’s very heavily sedating,” she said. “It is impacting their breathing. It is impacting their ability to move, and it is also causing these horrific wounds and kidney problems.”

Xylazine can, in fact, cause a host of medical problems.

“Some people are experiencing anemia because of repeated consumption,” Muggeo said. “Some people are experiencing changes in their blood sugar, either sharply dropping or sharply spiking so people who have not been previously diagnosed with diabetes, experiencing that fluctuation in their blood sugar.”

Perhaps most frightening, the health effects most commonly associated with xylazine are open sores and wounds.

“There’s something going on with the mechanism of how xylazine impacts our bodies that causes wounds, which are not necessarily related to injection,” Muggeo said.

People who use syringes sometimes present with infected wounds related directly to the injection, perhaps from an unsanitary needle. “The xylazine wounds are not those,” Muggeo said. They’re not infected, though they may become infected, she said.

“In the beginning, they’re like these ulcers from the xylazine itself, and they don’t necessarily occur at the site of injection,” she said. “People are getting them, maybe they inject in their arm and then they have a little cut on their finger that turns into this big ulcer, or their legs. People are getting them from smoking or snorting or consuming some other way where we wouldn’t typically be thinking about those ways of consumption causing wounds.”

Naloxone is not effective

Xylazine has, Muggeo said, added a “big layer of complexity” to the job of treating people who use substances, and it’s becoming more and more common.

“I am seeing more patients who are actually primarily here for infections related to their injection drug use,” said Amanda Therrien, a physician assistant who spearheads the inpatient addiction medicine consult service at Hartford Hospital. “That’s the majority of the population that I am seeing right now.”

Therrien could not say how many of those wounds are related to xylazine, because the tranquilizer is not part of standard toxicology screens.

“It’s hard to quantify because a lot of labs are not currently testing for it,” she said. “But we’re certainly seeing a lot of wounds related to injection drug use, and we’re doing our best to treat them.”

If a doctor has reason to believe that a patient has been using substances, they might test for heroin or fentanyl, but xylazine is not part of that standard test.

“We have partnered with a lab that we can send out to test for it, but we don’t have it available in-house yet,” Therrien said. “It’s new and we’ve had conversations with our pharmacy on how we can get it added and I hope one day it will be part of our general tox screen but currently it is not.”

Xylazine is not an opioid, which means naloxone, often called Narcan, has no effect.

If a person stops breathing in the midst of an overdose, naloxone binds to the opioid receptors “and your brain is going to get the signal to start breathing again,” Muggeo said. “The challenge is, that part of the overdose is going to be alleviated by that but xylazine is not an opioid. The person may still be experiencing the sedation from the xylazine and if it’s heavy enough, it may be impacting the rate of respiration.”

Knowing what comes next

Kevin Shuler, a recovery counselor in Hartford, who once briefly lost the use of his legs and kidneys after an overdose, said fentanyl starting appearing on the street in Connecticut in 2014 and has since completely overtaken the heroin market.

“I don’t know how it’s completely supplanted heroin, like, where’s the heroin supply? What happened here?” he said. “As time went on, like 2016, 17, we knew that was pretty much all fentanyl and dealers wouldn’t hide that fact, and then people sought fentanyl because it was longer acting and cheaper. So, some people won’t even want your traditional heroin. They’re looking for the fentanyl.”

Though xylazine is not part of common tests, it was toxicology screens that alerted advocates that it was being mixed with fentanyl. Xylazine is most often found in drug cocktails containing fentanyl.

“The emergence of xylazine across the United States appears to be following the same path as fentanyl, beginning with white powder heroin markets in the Northeast before spreading to the South, and then working its way into drug markets westward,” the DEA wrote. “This pattern indicates that use of xylazine as an adulterant will likely increase and be commonly encountered in the illicit fentanyl supply.”

The patterns of emergence are important to Muggeo, because she’d like to know about an emerging public health crisis before people die in large numbers.

“We didn’t really find out about xylazine until it was present in a significant number of the tox screens in people who had died from overdose and we want to know about the next thing before we get to that point,” she said. “It is important for us to know from a public health perspective so we can help our community members be more informed about what they’re consuming.”

Click here to download a Xylazine Basics: Overdose Prevention, Harm Reduction, and Wound Care from HHRCTraining and SAMSHA.

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