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March 4, 1997

Release # 97-076
CPSC: Rick Frost
(301) 504-0580 Ext. 1166
Ecodyne: Tom Jollie
(612) 297-6500

CPSC and Ecodyne Announce Recall of Sears Water Filter Cartridges

CPSC and Ecodyne Announce Recall of Sears Water Filter CartridgesWASHINGTON, 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 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.

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