CPSC Accepts Corrective Actions From Major Hair Dryer Companies

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE  
May 21, 1979  
Release # 79-022
 

CPSC Accepts Corrective Actions From Major Hair Dryer Companies

WASHINGTON, D.C., May 21, 1979 -- The Consumer Products Safety Commission voted unanimously yesterday to approve voluntary corrective action proposals by the 11 major manufacturers and private labelers of hand-held hair dryers manufactured with asbestos.

The corrective actions by these companies, which account for an estimated 90 per cent of all domestic hair dryer sales annually, provide for either repair, replacement or refund for hand-held hair dryers containing asbestos.

The companies which have agreed to accept returns of hair dryers containing asbestos from consumers are: Conair Corp.; General Electric Co.; Gillette Co.; Korvettes, Inc.; Montgomery Ward; North American Philips Corp. (Norelco); J.C. Penney Co.; Scovill Manufacturing Co. (Hamilton-Beach and Dominion); Sears, Roebuck & Co.; Sunbeam and Schick, Inc.

Attached are news bulletins providing details of the corrective actions being taken by 10 of the 11 major companies. Although the Commission has accepted the corrective action proposal of Schick, Inc., a news bulletin announcing Schick's program is not available at this time.



General Electric Hair Dryer Response Accepted By CPSC

WASHINGTON, D.C. (May 17, 1979)-- The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and the General Electric Co. today announced agreement on a program for voluntary correction of hair dryers containing asbestos insulation.

While the Commission and GE are not in agreement as to whether such hair dryers present or could present a health hazard, and while GE does not believe that it is legally required to undertake this program, GE has urged its distributor customers to return hair dryers containing asbestos to GE and to advise consumers of the situation. GE will retrofit all units capable of being retrofitted with a non-asbestos insulator.

For those units that cannot be readily retrofitted, GE has agreed, at the consumer's option, to exchange hair dryers in good operating condition for a suitable replacement or apply a depreciated credit against the purchase of other merchandise available at authorized GE small appliance service locations.

Concerned consumers should bring their hair dryers to their nearest authorized service location or should call GE, toll-free, at 800-421-5822 for information. GE small appliance service locations are listed in the yellow pages of most telephone books. Hair dryers should not be brought to GE retailers. The model numbers of the hair dryers containing asbestos are as follows:

PRO-11/5116-005 STC-l/IA
PRO-10/5115-013 UH-20
PRO-6/5112-005 HD-30
PRO-5/5110-013 UH-31
PRO-4/5109-001 HD-56
PRO-3/5107-011 HD-54
PRO-2/5108-005 HD-52
PRO-l/5105-013 HD-51
PB-l/5113-005 HD-63/63SS
SD-4/5101-013 HD-63SS/5063-008
SD-l/2 HD-53
STC-2 HD-20
  HD-55

Anyone wishing to verify model numbers may contact CPSC's toll-free HotLine at 800-638-2772.





Gillette Hair Dryer Response Accepted By CPSC

WASHINGTON, D.C., May 17 -- The Consumer Product Safety Commission announced today that the steps being taken by the Gillette Company in relation to hair dryers containing asbestos are adequate.

Gillette has stated that the company has not manufactured any hair dryers containing asbestos since 1974 and indicates that all of its hair dryers currently available at retail are asbestos-free.

Although Gillette maintains that its models of pre-1975 hair dryers containing asbestos pose no health hazard to consumers, the company has opened a toll-free telephone line. Concerned consumers who may want their hair dryer retrofitted or replaced with a model containing no asbestos may call 800-328-9208 or write to the company at: The Gillette Company, Appliance Division, Consumer Service Department, 310 East Fifth St., St. Paul, Minnesota 55101.

Consumers can identify the old models of Gillette hair dryers containing asbestos by the following model numbers and brand names:

 

Model NumberBrand Name
THD-2 Max
THD-2A Max Plus
HD-3 Max for Men
HD-4 Max
HD-5 Supermax
AD-6 Bonnet Dryer Max Hatter



All other models of Gillette hair dryers do not contain asbestos, according to the company.

Anyone wishing to verify model numbers may also contact the Consumer Product Safety Commission's toll-free Hotline at 800-638-2772.





Korvettes Hair Dryer Response Accepted By CPSC

WASHINGTON, D.C. (May 17) -- The CPSC announced today that the steps taken by Korvettes, Inc., New York, N.Y. are adequate in response to the Commission staff's request for action regarding hair dryers which contain asbestos.

Korvettes states it is no longer buying its name-brand dryers with asbestos and has discontinued selling dryers containing asbestos.

Although Korvettes feels that it has not been determined whether or not asbestos in hair dryers is a health hazard, Korvettes in keeping with its policy of customer satisfaction is accepting returns for replacement or refund of purchase price on Korvettes-brand dryers with asbestos and other brands with asbestos sold in Korvettes' stores if the customer can furnish proof-of-purchase from Korvettes.

Consumers can identify the models of Korvettes hair dryers containing asbestos by the following model numbers:

- HA 22M-1200 Watt Pro Dryer (except current models)

- HA 2214-1400 Watt - with attachments (except current models)

- HA 1214-1400 Watt - without attachments (except current models)

- Model 23A - 1000 Watt Curl Brush Dryer (except current models)

- Model 7047 - 1000 Watt Compact Hair Dryer (models sold prior to 1978 only)

All other models of Korvettes hair dryers do not contain asbestos, according to the company.

Anyone wishing to verify model numbers may contact CPSC's toll-free Hotline at 800-638-2772.





Montgomery Ward Hair Dryer Response Accepted By CPSC

WASHINGTON, D.C., May 17 -- The Commission and Montgomery Ward jointly announced today the company's voluntary program in relation to hair dryers containing asbestos. The Commission has accepted the program as adequate.

Montgomery Ward said that although the health hazard controversy regarding asbestos-lined hair dryers has not been resolved, the company has been exchanging asbestos-lined hair dryers returned by consumers with some of its many other models which do not contain asbestos.

Consumers can identify a Montgomery Ward hair dryer containing asbestos by the following model numbers:

52-19361 19375
19363 19382
19367 19383
19368 19387
19369 19388
19374 19389



All other models of Montgomery Ward hair dryers do not contain asbestos, according to the company.

For further information, contact your local Ward's store or D.C. Gutman, Customer Relations Manager, 4-N, Montgomery Ward Plaza, Chicago, Illinois 60671, telephone: 312-467-2628.

Anyone wishing to verify model numbers may also contact the CPSC toll-free Hot-line at 800-638-2772.





Norelco Hair Dryer Response Accepted By CPSC

WASHINGTON, D.C. (May 17) -- The Consumer Product Safety Commission and North American Philips Corporation jointly announced today a voluntary program to repair and/or replace certain discontinued Norelco hair dryers which contain asbestos.

The voluntary program applies to the following Norelco models, none of which currently are being offered for sale, according to the company:

HB 1700 (black)
HP 2600 (green)
HP 3600 (tan)
HP 3601 (tan)

 

The model HB 1700 used asbestos as a heat shield insulation lining and was last produced in February, 1975, the company informed CPSC. The other models used small amounts of asbestos in the heating coils and were last produced in January, 1973.

No Norelco hair dryers produced within the past 4 1/2 years (or currently being produced) contain any asbestos, according to the company.

Consumers owning a model HB 1700 hair dryer may have the asbestos lining replaced with a mica heat shield by bringing or mailing the dryer to any of 16 Norelco service stores located in the following cities: New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Washington, D.C., Dallas, Pittsburgh, San Francisco, Chicago, Los Angeles, Kansas City, MO., St. Louis, Denver, Houston, Minneapolis, and Seattle. There is no charge for this repair, and the company will reimburse consumers for all postage costs.

Owners of the HP 2600, the HP 3600 and the HP 3601 models may exchange them for similar new Norelco hair dryer models through the 16 service centers.

Questions recently have been raised by CPSC and the news media as to whether there is a health hazard posed by the presence of asbestos in hand held hair dryers. Norelco feels (and has felt all along) that its discontinued models (which are no longer available for purchase) pose no health hazard to consumers. Nevertheless, the company was one of the first U.S. marketers to cooperate with CPSC staff by supplying a listing of its dryers containing asbestos and their dates of manufacture.

All other models of Norelco hair dryers do not contain asbestos, according to the company.

Additional information about Norelco's voluntary program may be obtained from the company at its toll-free telephone number: 800-223-1828.

Anyone wishing to verify model numbers may contact the CPSC toll-free Hotline at 800-638-2772.





J.C. Penney Hair Dryer Response Accepted By CPSC

WASHINGTON, D.C. (May 17) -- CPSC announced today that the steps taken by the J.C. Penney Co., Inc., New York, New York, are adequate in response to the Commission staff's request for action regarding hair dryers which contain asbestos.

On March 29th Penney says that it stopped sale on all of its hair dryers that contained asbestos. Penney maintains that current evidence does not indicate that its hair dryers with asbestos present a health hazard, and the company is not asking customers to return these products.

However, if a Penney customer is concerned because a J.C. Penney hair dryer contains asbestos, the company will follow its normal policy of customer satisfaction. Depending on the dryer, it will repair or replace the dryer at no cost to the consumer or refund the dryer's full purchase price at any of its retail stores.

Consumers can identify the models of J.C. Penney hair dryers containing asbestos by the following name and model numbers:

Retail Lot No.Catalog Lot No.Description
064-1050A 6623979 1000 watt pro dryer
064-1121 6622351 1000 watt rotary styler dryer
064-1145 6621197 1200 watt pro dryer
064-1146 6624290 1200 watt pro dryer
064-1180 6622518 1400 watt pro dryer
064-1190 6622526 1200 watt adjustable pro dryer
064-1186 6622435 1200 watt pro dryer
    1200 pro dryer
    1200 adjustable pro dryer
    1210 Treasury
    1213 Thrift



All other models of J.C. Penney hair dryers do not contain asbestos, according to the company.

Anyone wishing to verify model numbers may contact the CPSC toll-free Hotline at 800-638-2772.





Scovill Hair Dryer Response Accepted By CPSC

WASHINGTON, D.C., May 17 -- The CPSC announced today that the steps taken by the Scovill Manufacturing Company are adequate in response to the Commission staff's request for action regarding the firm's Hamilton Beach and Dominion model hair dryers which contain asbestos.

Scovill says it has stopped sales of its Hamilton Beach model 480 hair dryer, the only current model containing asbestos. Although the company maintains that its Hamilton Beach and Dominion hair dryers with asbestos present no health hazard, the company will replace or repair, at its option, all units which contain asbestos, that are mailed to the firm. There is no charge for this replacement or repair.

Replacement or repair of the units can be obtained by returning either by United Parcel Service or parcel post the hair dryer to Hamilton Beach or Dominion Division (depending on the brand of the dryer), Finished Goods Warehouse, Door No. 6, Washington, North Carolina 27889. The company will reimburse consumers for all postage costs. Consumers can identify those hair dryers containing asbestos by the following name and model numbers:

Hamilton Beach Division

458 Portable Hair Dryer with Mist Groomer attachment
422 portable version of 479
423 Groomer III Englishtown
480 Pro 1200 Watt Hair Dryer
434B Female Groomer with case
433 Male Groomer with case
432 Hot Comb
479 Deluxe Blower Styler
425 Blower Styler

Dominion Division

3806Y Portable Hair Dryer
3806P Portable Hair Dryer
1841 Comb & Dry Hair Dresser
3840 1000 Watt Gun Type Hair Dryer
3850 Comb & Dry Hair Brush

All other Hamilton Beach or Dominion hair dryers do not contain asbestos, according to the company.

Consumers should check their model units carefully. Improperly returned units will be returned without postage reimbursement.

Anyone wishing to verify model numbers may also contact the Consumer Product Safety Commission's toll-free Hotline at 800-638-2772.





Sears Hair Dryer Response Accepted By CPSC

WASHINGTON, D.C., May 17 -- The Commission announced today that the steps being taken by Sears, Roebuck & Co. in relation to hair dryers containing asbestos are adequate.

Sears stopped sales of hair dryers containing asbestos on April 4, 1979, although Sears does not believe the use of such dryers poses a health hazard. In keeping with its longstanding policy of "Satisfaction Guaranteed or Your Money Back" and because of public concern, Sears has instructed all its stores and catalog facilities to replace affected hair dryers or, if the customer prefers, to give a full refund.

The company has identified 14 models of hair dryers containing asbestos; these models have raised numbers permanently molded into the pistol grip as follows:

253.6314 253.8754
253.6369 253.8782
253.6385 253.8783
253.8700 253.6374
253.8714 253.6377
253.8736 253.8704
320.6350
(700 watt professional dryer)
320.8706
(700 watt professional dryer)



All other models of Sears hair dryers not listed above do not contain asbestos heat shields, according to the company. Consumers wishing further information from the company should contact their nearest Sears retail outlet.

Anyone wishing to verify model numbers also may contact the Consumer Product Safety Commission's toll-free Hotline at 800-638-2772.





Sunbeam Hair Dryer Plan Accepted

WASHINGTON, D.C., May 17 -- The CPSC and Sunbeam Corporation have agreed that the voluntary measures being taken by Sunbeam with regard to hand-held hair dryers containing asbestos exposed to the air stream are adequate.

The CPSC is concerned that asbestos that may be exposed to the air stream in hand-held hair dryers may present a health hazard. Sunbeam does not agree. Sunbeam's position is that there is no scientifically persuasive evidence that any Sunbeam hair dryer emits asbestos or that the use of asbestos in the air stream of hair dryers, with their limited use and exposure, constitutes a health hazard.

Sunbeam stresses that current hand-held hair dryers of its three consumer product divisions that market such products (Sunbeam Appliance Company, Oster, and Northern Electric Company) do not contain asbestos in the air stream section. Because of the concern of some consumers generated by the recent publicity and controversy concerning this matter, Sunbeam will continue to take the following actions:

Past models of Sunbeam and Oster brand hair dryers that did contain asbestos are being repaired, at no charge to consumers.

The single Northern hair dryer that contained asbestos, Model 1821, will be replaced with the Model 1889 "Pocket Pistol" hair dryer.

Following are Sunbeam Appliance Company, Oster, and Northern models that did and did not embody asbestos in the air stream:

Sunbeam models containing asbestos, all Professionaire units were:

D-W 52-9C 52-9K 52-9H 52-9P 52-12J 52-9R

 

Sunbeam models which do not contain asbestos are:

D-3 D-4 D-4A D-5 D-5A 52-34 D-6
D-6A D-8 52-61 52-73 52-87 52-101 52-351
52-167 52-188 52-288 52-191 52-214    


Oster models that contained asbestos were the 202; 301; 302, and 370. Oster currently markets the Model 202, but the asbestos was removed in 1972. The Northern model that contained asbestos was 1821. Northern models that do not contain asbestos are the

1886 1889 1889-2 1889-3 6821 1832
1881 1881-l 1881-2 1881-3 1832-6 1826

 

Consumers with Sunbeam or Oster brand units that contain asbestos may take or send them to the nearest Sunbeam Appliance Service Center for free repair. Addresses are available in Yellow Page listings. If no Center is convenient, hair dryers can be sent to:

Hair Dryers
5430 Roosevelt Road
Chicago, IL 60650

 

The Northern Model 1821 may be returned to:

Electric Service Station
Department HD79
Hattiesburg, MS 39401

 

Hair dryers being mailed should include the consumer's name and address and telephone number inside the package with the product as well as on the exterior label.

Consumers having questions concerning the above procedure should write to: Consumer Satisfaction Department: Sunbeam Corporation, 2001 South York Road; Oak Brook, IL 60521.





Conair Hair Dryer Response Accepted By CPSC

WASHINGTON, D.C., May 17 -- The Conair Corporation, in accord with the Consumer Product Safety Commission, agrees to accept the return of its hair dryers which may possibly contain asbestos. Consumers owning Conair models listed below, some of which may have been manufactured with asbestos, may have asbestos liners replaced with mica liners by returning dryers to Conair at either one of the following addresses:

Conair Corporation, 11 Executive Ave., Edison, New Jersey 08817, or Dept. 333, 2 North 59th Ave., Phoenix, Arizona 85043. Conair voluntarily agreed to this action despite its belief that there is an absence of any definitive scientific evidence indicating that the presence of asbestos in some of its hair dryers creates a health hazard.

CPSC has engaged the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health to conduct extensive tests in order to resolve the controversy. The tests presently are being conducted and final conclusions are not expected until the end of August.

The following models may have been manufactured with asbestos:

Model No.Model No.
055 070
D058 0991 (Made in Hong Kong)
066 140V (Made in Hong Kong)
067 (Hot Comb) S-7 (Hot Comb)
W069 (Hot Comb) 068 (Hot Comb)
065 (Only serial numbers 1277, 0178, 0278, 0378, 0578)

 

Anyone wishing to verify model numbers may contact the Consumer Product Safety Commission's toll-free Hotline 800/638-2772.