CPSC today kicks off a national campaign to alert the public that many thrift stores are selling hazardous products that have been recalled, banned or do not meet current safety standards. From May through September 1999, CPSC visited 301 randomly selected thrift stores nationwide. CPSC's study found that 69 percent were selling at least one hazardous product. The top three products found were children's jackets and sweatshirts with drawstrings presenting a strangulation hazard, hairdryers that do not protect against electrocution and cribs that do not meet current safety standards.
Each year, CPSC recalls 250 to 300 hazardous products. CPSC gets recalled products off retail shelves, but cannot go into consumers' homes and remove them. Recalled products end up being donated or sold in the second-hand goods market, including thrift stores.
"The products found pose a danger of death or serious injury to consumers," said CPSC Chairman Ann Brown. "Many consumers and thrift store operators may be unaware of recalls, bans and current safety standards of products offered for sale in the stores."
CPSC found that thrift stores nationwide, including those run by national organizations and local and independent stores, sell the following hazardous products:
- 51 percent sell children's jackets and sweatshirts with drawstrings, presenting a strangulation hazard.
- 20 percent sell hair dryers without protection against electrocution.
- 12 percent sell cribs that do not meet current federal and voluntary safety standards, presenting risks including entrapment and strangulation.
- 10 percent sell recalled halogen torchiere floor lamps without wire or glass guards, presenting a fire hazard.
- 7 percent sell recalled play yards and playpens with protruding hardware or collapsible top rails, presenting a strangulation hazard.
- 4 percent sell recalled car seat carriers with handles that can unexpectedly disengage, causing the seat to flip forward and injure infants.
- 3 percent sell recalled toy basketball sets with nets that present a strangulation hazard to children.
- About 1 percent sell other hazardous products including banned lawn darts, recalled cedar chests and recalled bean bag chairs, all of which present injury and death hazards to children.
CPSC is seeking a commitment from thrift stores to stop selling hazardous products. To help accomplish this, CPSC has prepared a Thrift Store Checklist for thrift stores and shoppers.
The checklist includes information on how to contact CPSC to check on product recalls, bans and current safety standards. The checklist can be used as a guide when shopping at thrift stores. Thrift store owners and managers should use the checklist before accepting donations, consignments or purchasing inventory for the store.
Anyone who purchases a second-hand product should check with CPSC to determine if it has been banned, recalled or violates current safety standards, and to get information on the appropriate remedy. To receive recall notices directly, sign up for instant email notices at our web site www.cpsc.gov
(i.e. Thrift store has: )
Number of Stores with Product
Number of Products Found in Stores
Estimate of Number Of Stores with Product
Percent of Stores with Product
Estimate of Number of Products in Thrift Stores
Drawstrings around the hood or neck of children's outerwear:
Hair dryers without protection against electrocution:
Cribs that do not meet current safety standard:
Halogen torchiere floor lamps without wire guards:
Recalled play yards/playpens with protruding rivets or rotating top rails:
Strangulation and entrapment hazard
Recalled infant car seat carriers:
Recalled toy basketball nets:
FINDINGS OF STUDY
About the U.S. CPSC
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risk of injury or death associated with the use of thousands of types of consumer products. Deaths, injuries, and property damage from consumer product-related incidents cost the nation more than $1 trillion annually. CPSC's work to ensure the safety of consumer products has contributed to a decline in the rate of injuries associated with consumer products over the past 50 years.
Federal law prohibits any person from selling products subject to a Commission ordered recall or a voluntary recall undertaken in consultation with the CPSC.
For lifesaving information: