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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: Stacey Reuben Mesa
(301) 504-0580 Ext. 1189
August 20, 1994
Release # 94-120

Hair Entrapment Danger With Whirlpool Bath Suction Covers

Washington, DC -- In cooperation with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), HydraBaths Inc. of Santa Ana, Calif., is voluntarily recalling its model 20313X, 2031XX, and 203 whirlpool bath suction covers. These covers were manufactured prior to implementation of voluntary industry standards in 1985. HydraBaths estimates that there are about 40,000 whirlpool baths in use that have these suction covers.

Whirlpool baths typically have one or two suction openings to draw in and circulate water. Each suction opening should have a cover designed to protect against entrapment of the bather's body parts and hair due to high suction forces. The recalled suction covers, which were not designed with such protection, may entangle a bather's hair into the openings, causing the bather's head to be held under water, which can result in drowning.

To date, HydraBaths received two reports of hair entrapments. One entrapment resulted in a drowning death and the other was a near drowning.

The recalled round covers can be identified by holes that are slotted or square shaped and larger than 1/8 inch. There are no visible markings on the covers that tell which model they are. The recalled covers were sold nationally before 1985 (as a component on whirlpool baths) to bathtub manufacturers, plumbing wholesalers, and distributors.

HydraBaths suction covers distributed after 1985 are not involved in this recall and can be identified by the visible markings HB-8, SC-1, or SC-4 on the cover and by holes that are circular and 1/8 inch or smaller.

HydraBaths and CPSC advise consumers to stop using whirlpools with the recalled suction covers. HydraBaths will send you free replacement suction covers. Call them at (714) 708-0652 or write them at HydraBaths, Recall Department, 2100 S. Fairview, Santa Ana, CA 92704 for free replacement suction covers.

Consumers who are unsure if they have a recalled suction cover can call or write HydraBaths to help make that determination. Consumers who write should enclose a photo of their cover.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission protects the public from the unreasonable risk of injury or death from 15,000 types of consumer products under the agency's jurisdiction. To report a dangerous product or a product-related injury and for information on CPSC's fax-on-demand service, call CPSC's hotline at (800) 638-2772 or CPSC's teletypewriter at (800) 638-8270. To order a press release through fax-on-demand, call (301) 504-0051 from the handset of your fax machine and enter the release number. Consumers can report product hazards to info@cpsc.gov.

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