July 30, 1997


Release # 97-164


WASHINGTON, D.C. - In cooperation with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), Mardo International Distributors of Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico, is recalling about 6,900 bottles of Aguarras mineral spirits, which is used as a paint thinner. The product's packaging is not child-resistant; not labeled with the necessary warnings, cautions for use and instructions for appropriate first aid in case of ingestion; and resembles a liquor flask. The packaging violates the Federal Hazardous Substances Act and the Poison Prevention Packaging Act. Paint thinner presents a serious poisoning hazard, possibly causing chemical pneumonia, pulmonary damage and death.

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

The paint thinner is labeled in Spanish. The packaging is a glass bottle that is about 7 inches high, holds 6 oz. (200 ml), and has a red and yellow label. The label reads, in part, "AGUARRAS (Sustituto) Espiritus Minerales destilados del Petróleo."

Small retail stores, some referred to as "Botanicas," throughout Puerto Rico sold the paint thinner from July 1996 through April 1997 for about $1.

Consumers should immediately stop using the product and return it to the store where purchased for a full refund. For more information, consumers should call Mardo International Distributors at (787) 764-6106 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. EDT Monday through Friday. Operators will be available that speak both English and Spanish.

The paint thinner packaging violation was discovered by the Puerto Rico Department of Consumer Protection as part of an ongoing joint enforcement program with CPSC.

Inquiries in Spanish can be directed to Jésus Chaírez, CPSC, at (214) 827-6239.

Paint Thinner