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Little secrets to easily freeze your credit files by phone or online | Teresa Murray

You have two primary options for freezing your credit files with the three major credit bureaus. You can do it by phone or online, whichever you’re more comfortable with.

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Blog Post | Consumer Tips

How to find mistakes on your credit report | Teresa Murray

Mistakes on your credit report can cause a whole host of problems.

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Blog Post

How to recognize fake online reviews of products and services | Hannah Rhodes

A fake review could be done by the company itself, by posting a fabricated positive review on its own site or by posting concocted negative reviews on a competitor’s site.

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Blog Post | Consumer Tips

Buy Now Pay Later plans: Tips to avoid the pitfalls | Hannah Rhodes

These short-term installment plans are filled with landmines. Here are some tips to avoid the interest and fees that often come with these "deals."

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News Release | U.S. PIRG Education Fund

The hidden costs of ‘Buy Now, Pay Later’

U.S. PIRG Education Fund reviewed data from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and found that the most common complaints about “Buy Now, Pay Later” plans include hidden fees, high interest rates and problems when it comes time for debt collection.

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News Release | U.S. PIRG

EPA expands testing for 'forever chemicals' from drinking water

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced today that it will expand testing for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, more commonly known as PFAS, in drinking water throughout the country.

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News Release | US PIRG Education Fund

STATEMENT: New tip guide reveals how to spot counterfeit merchandise when shopping for gifts online

As we get deeper into the 2021 holiday season, online shoppers need to beware of counterfeit products, from knockoff sports merchandise to fake-branded perfumes or electronics that aren’t genuine.

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News Release | PIRG Education Fund & Environment America Research and Policy Center

New report: Reinstated ‘polluter pays’ taxes should speed up lagging toxic waste cleanup

The Superfund toxic waste cleanup program is in charge of cleaning up America's most dangerous toxic waste sites. But for years, it's been underfunded, which has slowed down cleanup and put more people at risk of exposure to hazardous waste. The Funding the Future of Superfund: Addressing decades of slowing toxic waste cleanup report addresses the progress of the Superfund program in 2021 and what new funding from the reinstated "polluter pays" tax will mean for the future of Superfund toxic waste cleanup.

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News Release | US PIRG | Consumer Tips

RELEASE: PIRG Consumer Watchdog associate testifies about dangerous toys at Senate hearing on hidden holiday hazards

PIRG’s Consumer Watchdog Associate Hannah Rhodes was among the witnesses asked to testify Tuesday at a U.S. Senate Commerce Subcommittee hearing that focused on counterfeit toys and other unsafe products consumers can encounter unwittingly during what should be a festive season. 

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Report | U.S. PIRG Education Fund

Deere in the Headlights

Modern farm equipment runs on software. But when manufacturers restrict access to the software tools needed to repair broken tractors, farmers are left out in the cold. They are forced to rely on dealerships to fix their equipment, which can lead to lengthy delays and inflated repair bills. With fields to be plowed, planted and harvested, farmers don’t have the time to wait for a dealer. They need to be able to fix their own stuff.

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Report | U.S. PIRG Education Fund | Higher Ed

Fixing the Broken Textbook Market, Third Edition

 COVID-19 has raised the barriers students face both financially and technologically to access course materials, even if it has not necessarily made course materials more expensive. Students who lost jobs due to the pandemic or who lacked reliable internet access were hardest hit by course materials costs. These problems will persist past the public health crisis without increased funding and implementing long term policies that prioritize access and affordability.

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Report | U.S. PIRG Education Fund

Superfund Underfunded

In 1980, Congress passed the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA), informally called Superfund. The Superfund program was given the authority and funds to hold polluters responsible for cleaning up contaminated waste sites or clean up the sites themselves if no responsible party can be found or afford the cleanup. These toxic waste sites house some of the most “hazardous chemicals known to humankind.” The Superfund toxic waste program protects people from these contaminants and the serious health problems associated with them.

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Report | U.S. PIRG Education Fund

Accelerating the Transition to Electric School Buses

This new report explains how school districts and utilities can work together to acclerate the switch to electric school buses, helping to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and protect the health of the kids that ride them everyday. 

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Report | US PIRG Education Fund | COVID-19

Nursing home safety during COVID: Staff shortages

For most of last year, more than 200,000 people at any given time were in nursing homes that themselves acknowledged they were suffering from staff shortages.

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Blog Post

Patient Guide: Surprise medical billing protections you can use now | Patricia Kelmar

The No Surprises Act went into effect on January 1, 2022. This patient guide is an easy way to understand your new patient protections. Important phone numbers and links to the federal complaint form are included. Put an end to surprise medical bills by knowing your rights under this new consumer law. 

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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

Another winter during COVID-19: How to stay safe and sound | Isabel Brown

The holidays are over and winter is upon us again. The long and cold months ahead can feel like an eternity, especially during an ongoing pandemic. Here are some ways to keep your mind and body healthy as we head into a second COVID-19 winter.

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News Release | U.S. PIRG Education Fund

People and companies who own some 2021 Ford Expedition and Lincoln Navigator SUVs should park outside, away from homes and other structures, according to a warning released Thursday by the National Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA). Lincoln is Ford’s luxury brand.

News Release | U.S. PIRG Education Fund

As a growing number of studies have shed new light on the health and environmental harms of gas stoves, U.S. PIRG Education Fund and Environment America Research & Policy Center are releasing a new consumer guide that provides information on how to protect American families and the environment by switching to induction cooking.

News Release | U.S. PIRG Education Fund

After decades of danger and more than 200 infant deaths, President Joe Biden signed the  Safe Sleep for Babies Act into law on Monday.

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.

 

Solid Waste

New federal bill calls for U.S. to move beyond plastic

On Feb. 11, U.S. Sen. Tom Udall and U.S. Rep. Alan Lowenthal introduced legislation that would phase out unnecessary single-use plastics, which commonly end up clogging our landfills and polluting our environment. It also provides funding for recycling and composting infrastructure, and would shift the financial burden of managing waste and recyclables from town and city governments to the manufacturers.

 

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U.S. 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.