America's Pharmacies are Death Traps

A blog about business and economics.
May 2 2013 1:14 PM

America's Pharmacies Are Death Traps Full Of Products That May Injure Our Vulnerable Teens

Hispanic residents walk by a bilingual sign for a CVS pharmacy on March 28, 2011 in Union City, New Jersey.

Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images

The Obama administration recently announced its intention to continue litigation aimed at keeping Plan B emergency contraception unavailable to young teenagers, citing potential health risks. Safety is important, but I recently took a trip to the CVS that's on the block of Slate's D.C. office and I saw some disturbing things. Leaving contraceptives totally aside, the store turned out to be full of terrifying, dangerous objects.

Razor blades, for example:

razor blades

They also have a chemical compound that literally dissolves hair:


This stuff is EXTREMELY FLAMMABLE and you're also warned that if you ingest it you need to go to a POISON CONTROL CENTER:

nail polish_1

They have spray cans full of neurotoxins sitting adjacent to torch fuel:

bug stuff

These diet pills are "not intended for use by persons under 18" and carry a wide range of potential side effects, but anyone of any age can just walk right up and buy them:

diet pills

I hope someone alerts HHS.

Matthew Yglesias is the executive editor of Vox and author of The Rent Is Too Damn High.


The World

The Budget Disaster that Sabotaged the WHO’s Response to Ebola

How Movies Like Contagion and Outbreak Distort Our Response to Real Epidemics

PowerPoint Is the Worst, and Now It’s the Latest Way to Hack Into Your Computer

Everything You Should Know About Today’s Eclipse

An Unscientific Ranking of Really, Really Old German Beers


Welcome to 13th Grade!

Some high schools are offering a fifth year. That’s a great idea.


The Actual World

“Mount Thoreau” and the naming of things in the wilderness.

Want Kids to Delay Sex? Let Planned Parenthood Teach Them Sex Ed.

Can Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu Pull Off One More Louisiana Miracle?

  News & Politics
Oct. 22 2014 9:42 PM Landslide Landrieu Can the Louisiana Democrat use the powers of incumbency to save herself one more time?
Oct. 23 2014 11:51 AM It Seems No One Is Rich or Happy: I Looked.
Lexicon Valley
Oct. 23 2014 10:30 AM Which Came First, the Word Chicken or the Word Egg?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 23 2014 11:33 AM Watch Little Princesses Curse for the Feminist Cause
  Slate Plus
Oct. 23 2014 11:28 AM Slate’s Working Podcast: Episode 2 Transcript Read what David Plotz asked Dr. Meri Kolbrener about her workday.
Brow Beat
Oct. 23 2014 11:34 AM Louis C.K. Crashes a Brad Pitt Interview on Between Two Ferns
Oct. 23 2014 11:45 AM The United States of Reddit  How social media is redrawing our borders. 
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Oct. 23 2014 7:30 AM Our Solar System and Galaxy … Seen by an Astronaut
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.