The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) are partnering to post recall notices in Post Offices nationwide. As part of the annual ""recall round-up,"" CPSC and the Postal Service will send product recall alerts to all 33,000 Post Offices to be posted on bulletin boards. Everyone has seen the FBI's Most Wanted list in the corner Post Office. Now, people can see the most wanted dangerous products as well. The goal of recall round-up is to get hazardous products out of people's homes. Despite recall notices and public warnings, CPSC has found that many products with the potential to seriously injure or kill are still being used by consumers.
In addition to the Postal Service, CPSC has enlisted the help of state and local officials and national and state health and safety organizations. Governors, state health officials, and grassroots voluntary/service groups will help publicize the safety campaign and distribute information on the hazardous products. In some states, recalled products will be rounded up and brought to central locations for disposal. This year, recall notices will be posted in all Post Offices too.
"People should do some spring cleaning and check their attics and other storage areas for old products that could be hazardous," said CPSC Chairman Ann Brown. "We can get dangerous products off store shelves, but the real challenge is to get them out of families' homes."
"We are delighted to work with CPSC to post recall notices in 33,000 post offices nationwide" said Francia Smith, Consumer Advocate and Vice President of Consumer Affairs for the U.S. Postal Service. "It is our hope that with over 7 million people entering our post offices every day, these notices will help prevent injury and save lives."
Today, CPSC is launching this year's Recall Round-Up with a news conference and release of a "Recall List" of products.
Some of the hazardous products that might be in consumers' homes are:
- Infant car seat/carriers where the handles can unexpectedly release, causing the seat to flip forward and the infant to fall. Three brands of carriers have been recalled. CPSC knows of a total of 160 injuries, including skull fractures and concussions, with all three recalled carriers. The recalled carriers are: Evenflo, On My Way Model 207 and 492 made before July 27, 1997 by Evenflo Company; Cosco "Arriva" and "Turnabout" models made before September 9, 1997, by Cosco Inc.; and Kolcraft "Infant Rider," "Secura," and other models made from January 1, 1993, through June 30, 1999, by Kolcraft Enterprises. People should call the company to get free a repair
- Pokemon Balls included with Burger King kids meals may pose a suffocation hazard to children under 3 years of age if either half of the ball gets stuck on the child's face, covering the nose and mouth. More than 25 million "Pokemon Balls" were distributed in November-December, 1999. A 13-month-old girl and a 4-month-old boy reportedly suffocated when one-half of a Pokemon ball covered the nose and mouth. In addition, CPSC is aware of several non-suffocation incidents. Take the "Pokemon Balls" (including the clip) away from children under the age of 3 years and discard the ball or return both halves to a Burger King restaurant for a free small order of french fries.
- Swimming Pool Dive Sticks can cause rectal or vaginal impalement if children jump into a shallow pool and fall or land on the dive stick. CPSC knows of nine impalement injuries and three non-impalement injuries to children 5 to 11 years old. People should stop using the hard plastic dive sticks and throw them out. Depending on the dive sticks owned, consumers can receive a refund, replacement, or repair.
- Television carts made by Sauder Woodworking Co. (Models 5155, 5055, and 5251 made through September 1998) and by Bush Industries Inc. (Models 5414 and 5014 from June 1992 to August 1998) can tip over and injure children and adults when the cart and the TV fall. There have been 15 reports of these carts tipping over, resulting in 3 injuries including a 3-year-old girl who suffered a skull fracture. The carts were sold ready-to-assemble and had a bottom cabinet with hinged double doors. People should remove their televisions and VCR's from the carts and contact the manufacturer to get a free repair kit to help prevent the cart from tipping over.
- Tubular metal cribs made by Cosco Inc. before September 1997 can entrap or strangle a baby. These metal cribs can be mis-assembled with the mattress platform used as a side rail, creating a distance between the side rail slats that allows an infant to become entrapped. There have been 27 reports of babies becoming entrapped because of mis-assembly, resulting in 1 death. In addition, mattresses sold with Model "M" cribs and sold before October 1997 can compress and be pushed between the bars on the crib's platform, permitting a baby to slip between the bars on the crib's platform and become entrapped. Cosco has received 12 complaints of entrapment because of the compressed mattress, resulting in 1 death. Call the company to make sure the crib is properly assembled and to get a new, safer mattress .
- Cedar chests with lids that automatically latch shut when closed made by The Lane Co. between 1912 and 1987. CPSC and Lane are aware of seven children suffocating inside the chests when the lid closed and automatically latched shut. Only those made between 1912 and 1987 are involved. Contact the company to get a free replacement lock to prevent entrapment.
- Old cribs and other products made before CPSC's safety standards can choke, strangle, or suffocate children. Old cribs with more than 2-3/8 inches between crib slats, corner posts, or cut-outs on the headboard or footboard present suffocation and strangulation hazards. Bunk beds with spaces bigger than 3 ½ inches can cause entrapment and strangulation. Old chest freezers can suffocate children. Hairdryers without built-in shock-protection devices in the plug can cause electrocution. Drawstrings around the neck of jackets and sweatshirts can strangle a child. Destroy these old hazardous products. Do not sell them at garage sales or give them to thrift stores. CPSC found that many thrift stores are selling recalled, hazardous products. As part of "Recall Round-Up," 32 states will visit thrift stores to help get hazardous products off the shelves.
"CPSC sometimes learns of deaths or serious injuries caused by previously recalled products. We want to prevent these needless tragedies," said Brown. "We urge people to get CPSC's list of recalls and check for old products that could be hazardous."
CPSC's toll-free telephone hotline and web site provide information about recalled products and information on what to look for when buying products. Consumers can reach the hotline at 800-638-2772 or visit the web site at www.cpsc.gov. Consumers can get a list of major recalls here, or can have a copy mailed to them by sending a postcard to "Recall List," CPSC, Washington, D.C. 20207.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risks of injury or death associated with the use of thousands of types of consumer products under the agency’s jurisdiction. Deaths, injuries, and property damage from consumer product incidents cost the nation more than $1 trillion annually. CPSC is committed to protecting consumers and families from products that pose a fire, electrical, chemical or mechanical hazard. CPSC's work to help ensure the safety of consumer products - such as toys, cribs, power tools, cigarette lighters and household chemicals -– contributed to a decline in the rate of deaths and injuries associated with consumer products over the past 40 years.
Federal law bars any person from selling products subject to a publicly-announced voluntary recall by a manufacturer or a mandatory recall ordered by the Commission.
To report a dangerous product or a product-related injury go online to www.SaferProducts.gov or call CPSC's Hotline at 800-638-2772 or teletypewriter at 301-595-7054 for the hearing impaired. Consumers can obtain news release and recall information at www.cpsc.gov, on Twitter @USCPSC or by subscribing to CPSC's free e-mail newsletters.
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