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FOR RELEASE: April 25, 2002
CONTACT: Dick Gunn

Consumers Urged To Round Up Hazardous Products

It’s time for spring cleaning, and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and the Oklahoma SAFE KIDS Coalition are urging consumers to join a “recall round-up” of hazardous products. Despite recall notices and public warnings, consumers are still using many products with the potential to seriously injure or kill.

CPSC has enlisted the help of state and local officials, as well as national and state health and safety organizations such as SAFE KIDS, a program of the Oklahoma State Department of Health, to publicize the safety campaign and distribute information on the hazardous products.

“As families do their spring cleaning, we want them to take a fresh look at items in their homes such as appliances, window blinds, older cribs, storage chests and halogen lamps to make sure the products have not been recalled and don’t present hazards,” said Martha Collar, coalition coordinator. “The CPSC can get dangerous products off store shelves, but the real challenge is to get them out of families’ homes.”

Collar said it would be nearly impossible and certainly impractical for a consumer to keep track of the many products that are recalled. “That’s why we encourage them to fill out and mail in the owner registration card that comes with most products. That way, they can be notified by mail in the event of a recall,” she explained. In addition, consumers can log onto www.cpsc.gov to get automatic announcements of all future CPSC-announced recalls.

Some of the products featured in this year’s Recall Roundup include the following. In most cases, free repair kits can be obtained by contacting the manufacturer.

  • GE and Hotpoint dishwashers made between 1983 and 1989 that present a fire hazard. Call GE at (800) 599-2929.
  • Whirlpool (Kenmore) dishwashers sold between June 1991 and October 1992. These dishwashers also pose a fire hazard. Contact Whirlpool at (800) 874-9481.
  • Window blind cords with loops that can strangle children. The CPSC knows of 130 strangulation deaths to children since 1991. Call the Window Covering Safety Council, (800) 506-4636.
  • Halogen torchiere floor lamps made before 1997 that can cause fires when combustibles such as drapes come too close to the bulb. There have been at least 270 fires and 19 deaths since 1992 related to these lamps. A free wire guard can be obtained by sending a postcard to: Catalina Lighting Consumer Services, 18191 N.W. 68th Ave., Miami, FL 33015.
  • Playpens that can collapse and entrap a child in the V-shape folded top rails. Numerous brands are involved in this recall. CPSC is aware of 15 deaths to children when the top rails of playpens collapsed.
  • Cosco playpens, models “Zip n Go,” “Okie Dokie,” and “Carters,” have plastic tabs on the playpen that lock the rails into the corners. The tabs can break or loosen over time, allowing the rails to turn inward, collapse and entrap an infant. These were sold from May 1995 to December 1999. There have been 421 reports of malfunctions, including one fatality. Contact Dorel Juvenile Group, (800) 314-9327.
  • Lane cedar chests with lids that automatically lock when closed made by The Lane Co. between 1912 and 1987 and sold under the “Lane” and “Virginia Maid” brands. The CPSC is aware of 12 children (five in the last year) who have suffocated inside the chests when the lid closed and automatically latched. Call (888) 856-8748.

Other hazardous products included in the Recall Round-Up are:

  • Old cribs made before CPSC and industry safety standards.
  • Old chest freezers made between 1945 and 1970 that have heavy lids that latch.
  • Hairdryers without immersion protection devices.
  • Old multi-purpose lighters that are not child-resistant.
  • Drawstrings around the neck on children’s jackets and sweatshirts that can catch and strangle children.

In addition to the Web site, the CPSC also has a toll-free number where consumers can get more information about recalled products. Call (800) 638-2772.


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