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Shutdown Impact: Veterans Regional Offices Close

The National Transportation Safety Board is not investigating most transportation accidents, making an exception only if officials believe lives or property are in danger.

Auto recalls and investigations of safety defects have been put on hold during the partial government shutdown. The public can still file safety complaints through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's website, but no one has been investigating them since the shutdown began over a week ago. Manufacturers can still voluntarily recall vehicles, but major recalls are typically negotiated between the government and automakers.


At the Environmental Protection Agency, the shutdown means the agency can no longer certify whether vehicles meet emissions standards, delaying some new models from reaching car lots. New pesticides and industrial chemicals are also in limbo because the EPA has halted reviews of their health and environmental effects. And the nation's environmental police are no longer checking to see if polluters are complying with agreements to reduce their pollution.


New patients are generally not being accepted into clinical research at the National Institutes of Health, but current patients continue to receive care. NIH has made exceptions to allow 12 patients with immediately life-threatening illnesses â¿¿ mostly cancer â¿¿ into research studies at its renowned hospital. Normally, about 200 new patients every week enroll in studies at the NIH's research-only hospital, many of them after standard treatments have failed. Medical research at the NIH has been disrupted as some studies have been delayed. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has been severely limited in spotting or investigating disease outbreaks such as the flu or that mysterious MERS virus from the Middle East. The FDA has halted the review and approval of new medical products and drugs.


The impact of the shutdown on school districts, colleges and universities has been relatively minimal. Student loans have continued to be paid out. But school trips to national parks and museums have been cancelled, and some university researchers have been unable to apply for grant funding or access government databases. If the shutdown lingers, however, districts and higher education institutions that rely on federal grants dollars to fund programs such as those for special education students could begin to feel the pinch.

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