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Hazardous Hair Dryers Recalled

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Recall Date:
August 14, 1989

Recall Details

August 14, 1989  
Release # 89-076

WASHINGTON D.C. -- The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) today announced the recall of 250,000 hand-held hair dryers because of a potential electrocution hazard. The commission also warned that some 80 million hair dryers sold before 1987, the effective date of the current voluntary safety standard, continue to pose a threat to consumers.

"We estimate that 17 Americans are electrocuted each year in accidents involving hand-held hair dryers," said Anne Graham, Acting CPSC Chairman. "Ten of those yearly deaths involve children under 10 years old. This latest recall is part of our larger and ongoing effort to reduce deaths and injuries." The following firms and models are involved in the voluntary recall:



MBR Industries, Inc.
Miami, FL

Mustang Electronics, Inc.
Hallandale, FL

Major International, Inc.
Orange, CA

China Bazaar
San Francisco, CA

Pomair Pro 2100 and 1900

Mustang MU 2100

Major Styling Dryer
Model 1250

Minimate Hair Dryer and Iron DS-601 (all units stopped in inventory; no consumer sales)



Since 1980, hair dryers have included labels warning consumers of the electrocution hazard posed by immersion. In spite of these warnings, electrocutions have continued.

In 1987, the voluntary standard was revised to require protection against electrocution when hair dryers are immersed with switches in the "off" position. The recalled hair dryers do not meet this standard. Consumers should return them to the place of purchase for refund or replacement.

In addition, CPSC warns, approximately 80 million hair dryers manufactured before 1987 do not provide immersion safeguards with the switch in either the "off" or "on" position.

Acting Chairman Graham said, "CPSC investigations have shown that children often use these appliances as devices for bath-time play. one scenario we have seen involves one or more children left unattended in a bathtub when a parent leaves momentarily. Too often the parent returns to find that a child has brought a hair dryer into the tub, electrocuting one or both of the children. While any child's death is tragic, these electrocutions are particularly devastating because they are all preventable."

The agency also urged consumers to have Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCIs) installed to reduce the chance of electrocution. "At the very least," Graham added, "small appliances like hair dryers and curling irons should never be left plugged in, especially in homes with children."

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About the U.S. CPSC
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risks of injury or death associated with the use of thousands of types of consumer products. Deaths, injuries, and property damage from consumer product 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 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.
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