Consumer Catch-up: Teething medication warning, rainwater tax break, Facebook political ads

FDA warns about benzocaine medicines used for teething

The Food and Drug Administration is warning about over-the-counter benzocaine medications used to soothe babies while teething.

In an announcement today, the FDA calls the medications a serious risk to babies. The organization wants companies to stop selling the medications for children.

If companies don't comply, the FDA warns it will use regulatory action to force the items off the market.

Benzocaine can cause serious symptoms, including pale, gray- or blue-colored skin, lips and nail beds; shortness of breath; fatigue; headache; lightheadedness; and rapid heart rate.

You may recognize the medicines by their brand names like Anbesol, Baby Orajel, Cepacol, Chloraseptic, Hurricaine, Orabase, Orajel and Topex, along with generic versions and store brands.

Potential tax break for rainwater-catching systems

California homeowners who install rainwater-catching systems may get a tax break under a proposal on the June ballot.

If passed, these homeowners would not be required to have their property reassessed, which could save them from high property taxes.

Lawmakers say the incentive would help better manage drought conditions in the state.

The American Rainwater Catchment Systems Association says a home could collect almost 11,000 gallons of water a year in an area that receives 12 inches of rain per year.

The rainwater systems can run anywhere between $100 - $10,000. Lawmakers say the proposal will allow California to model Australia, where one-third of homes are equipped with rainwater capture systems.

Facebook requiring Social Security numbers for political ads

If you want to buy a political ad on Facebook, you'll have to prove your ties to the U.S.

People who want to buy ads will have to give their Social Security number, provide a picture of a government-issued ID, and give Facebook a U.S. mailing address.

After reviewing the information, Facebook will mail a letter with an authorization code to the address provided.

Facebook says it will delete the information once the verification process is complete.

The new policy is part of Facebook's mission to increase transparency after Russian-linked Facebook ads targeted Americans during the 2016 presidential election.

Click here for a look at more stories by Michael Finney and 7 On Your Side.

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