FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT Ecodyne: Tom Jollie

March 4, 1997

(612) 297-6500

Release # 97-076


WASHINGTON, D.C. - In cooperation with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), Ecodyne Water Systems of St. Paul, Minn., is recalling about 14,000 Sears water filter cartridges used to filter drinking water. The filter cartridges, which are distributed by Ecodyne, were sold under the name "Sears Chemical Contaminant/Taste and Odor Filter" and fit most standard-sized under sink and counter top water filter housings.

An incorrect form of carbon was used to make some of the filter cartridges. The carbon used could contain nickel chloride, which releases nickel into the water and can be harmful if ingested. Nickel chloride can cause abdominal cramps, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.

Cartridges containing nickel chloride, when initially used, cause the filtered water to taste metallic and turn green. Consumers who have used the affected filter cartridges and are presently displaying the above symptoms should advise a medical professional of possible ingestion of nickel. Pregnant women, dialysis patients, infants, small children, the elderly, and people with kidney problems or with a nickel allergy may be more sensitive to the effects of nickel chloride.

CPSC and Ecodyne are not aware of any injuries involving this product. This recall is being conducted to prevent the possibility of injury.

The "Sears Chemical Contaminant/Taste and Odor Filter" was sold as Sears item 42 34375. The 9 3/4-inch by 3-inch cylinder-shaped cartridge has a white plastic casing and a 1 1/2 -inch wide green end cap. A label on the plastic casing reads in part, "WaterWorksTM Chemical Contaminant/Taste and Odor Filter Cartridge Premium Grade Granular Activated Carbon." When the label is removed, no name or identifying part number appears on the water filter; however, it is the only cartridge sold at Sears with a green end cap.

Sears Water Filter Cartridge

Sears stores and Sears Hardware stores sold the water filter cartridge nationwide beginning in March 1996 for about $17.

Consumers should immediately stop using the water filter cartridge and call Ecodyne Water Systems at (800) 945-0109 for instructions on returning the cartridge for a full refund or replacement.

No other Sears water filters are involved in this recall.