April 17, 1980  
Release # 80-014

WASHINGTON, D.C. (April 17, 1980) -- A program to repair approximately 20,000 "heat guns" used by model airplane hobbyists is being conducted by the manufacturer, Top Flite Models, Inc., of Chicago, Illinois. The heat guns, which contain asbestos heat shields in the barrel, emit asbestos fibers during use.

The repair program is being conducted voluntarily in cooperation with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Hobbyists use the "T/F Monokote" brand heat guns to shrink and mold the outer covering of model airplanes. Although the product resembles and functions like a hand-held hair dryer, it cannot be used to dry hair because the gun emits air heated as high as 400 degrees Farenheit.

Manufactured between June, 1974 and December, 1977, the heat guns have been sold nationwide in hobby shops and other specialty retail stores for approximately $23 each. The manufacturer has used heat shields made from the mineral "mica" in all of its heat guns produced since 1977.

Top Flite Models has agreed to replace the asbestos heat shields with mica liners at no cost to consumers. In order to receive free repairs, consumers should mail their heat guns to Top Flite Models, Inc., 1901 N. Narragansett Avenue, Chicago, Illinois, 60639. The firm will reimburse consumers for postage costs.