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Consumer Confidential: Foreclosures, cleaning products and video games

November 12, 2009 | 10:09 am

Here's your thick-as-Thursday roundup of consumer news from around the Web:

-- Things are still tough on the housing front but maybe not as tough as before. Market researcher RealtyTrac said foreclosure filings were down 3% last month from the month before, but were up 19% from a year earlier. Analysts say we aren't out of the woods yet, but the trend line suggests that the housing market is gradually improving. About time too.

-- Is it possible to keep your home too clean? A new report says yes. The group Women's Voices for the Earth says many households overdo it with disinfectant products, making people more vulnerable to asthma, hormone imbalances and other health problems. "Companies are working hard to convince consumers, and especially moms, that they need to regularly disinfect every surface in their homes to protect their families from illness," Alexandra Scranton, a staff scientist with the group. "But that’s simply not true, and it may not be healthy."

-- I wrote the other day about visiting with people in line at a Best Buy store for the latest "Call of Duty" video game. Today, I can close the loop by reporting that Activision Blizzard sold $310 million worth of games -- 4.7 million copies -- within the first 24 hours of "Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2" going on sale. And that's just in North America and Britain. Could it be that a few of us have some aggression issues to work out?

-- David Lazarus