FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE  
September 20, 1979  
Release # 79-048
 

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Sept. 20) -- The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and the manufacturer of the "Rocket Blower", a commercial hair dryer used nationwide in beauty salons patronized primarily by blacks, today announced a voluntary program for the removal and replacement of asbestos heat shields in the hair dryers. The correction program has been accepted by the Commission as adequate.

The manufacturer, Bonat Inc., of West Patterson, New Jersey, estimates that since 1972 approximately 1,000 of the special purpose hair dryers have been sold to distributors for resale to beauty salons. The company estimates that perhaps 500 individual beauty salons currently may be using the "Rocket Blower", predominantly in major urban areas.

Bonat and CPSC will be instructing Bonat distributors and their beauty salon customers to return the dryers for retrofitting. Bonat has informed the Commission that it believes these hair dryers do not present a health hazard. Although Bonat therefore feels it is not legally obligated to undertake the correction program, it has agreed to do so voluntarily.

Distributors and their beauty salon operators can identify the "Rocket Blower" by its name on the label, which reads "Bonat Blower Dryer." The "Rocket Blower" models requiring removal of the asbestos heat shield are models B-10, B-11 and B-14. No other Bonat dryers have been manufactured with asbestos heat shields. The replacement program is scheduled to begin in mid-October when the company will have completed its retrofitting arrangements. Beauty salon operators are being advised to write the Bonat company at 250 Lackawanna Ave., West Patterson, New Jersey 07424, to receive details of the retrofit program.

Salon operators also may contact CPSC at the agency's toll-free Hotline, 800/638-2772, to initiate participation in the program.

Hair Dryer