May 7, 1996


Release # 96-119

WASHINGTON, D.C.- CPSC, Sprint International of Brooklyn, N.Y., is recalling approximately 1,160 hair dryers. Since these dryers do not have a full immersion protection plug, they present a risk of electrocution if dropped in water while the dryer is in the "on" position. The hair dryers also present a fire hazard due to inadequate wiring.

Before the use of immersion protection devices, there were an average of 18 electrocutions involving hand-held hair dryers each year. Since the introduction of immersion protection devices for hand-held hair dryers the number decreased to two electrocution deaths in 1992.

The current voluntary industry standard, which has been in effect since January 1, 1991, requires hand-held hair dryers to provide full immersion protection when either in the "on" or "off" position. The recalled dryers do not have this protection.

CPSC and Sprint International are not aware of any injuries involving these hair dryers. This recall is being conducted to prevent the possibility of injury.

The hair dryers bear the Sprint name and are labeled in part, "HD-150 1250W... AC-110V 60HZ." The dryers were packaged in boxes labeled in part, "SPRINT...COMPACT PRO HD-150...MADE IN CHINA." Retail stores in the New York Metropolitan area sold the dryers from January 1994 to April 1996 for about $10.

Consumers who own these hair dryers should stop using them immediately and return them to the stores where purchased for a full refund. Consumers in the New York area should call (718) 499-5511 between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. eastern time for additional information. Consumers outside the New York Metropolitan area should call (800) 955-3115 for more information.

When buying a hair dryer, consumers should look for a large, rectangular-shaped plug at the end of the cord. The certification mark of a recognized testing laboratory should also be visible on the hair dryer or on the hair dryer's packaging. However, even with this improved protection, under no circumstances should consumers use a hair dryer where it could come in contact with water. Electricity and water are a potentially deadly combination.