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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 31, 1997

Release # 97-092
CPSC: Jane Francis
(301) 504-0580 Ext. 1187

CPSC and MBR Industries Inc. Recall Hair Dryers

CPSC and MBR Industries Inc. Recall Hair DryersWASHINGTON, D.C. - In cooperation with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), MBR Industries Inc. of Miami, Fla., is recalling about 55,000 hand-held hair dryers sold under the name "Pomair." The dryers' thermostats could malfunction causing the dryers to overheat, which presents a fire hazard. Additionally, the dryers do not have a full immersion protection plug to protect against electrocution if they fall into water.

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 in either the "on" or "off" position. 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.

MBR is aware of one report of a hair dryer overheating and catching on fire while in use, but no injuries were reported.

The black, burgundy, or beige plastic hair dryers display the words "Professional Styler by Pomair Asbestos Free." "Model 600-53000" is imprinted on the back of the handle under the "Pomair" trademark. The dryers have ordinary plugs rather than ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCI's) or similar devices to prevent electric shocks. The dryers were packaged in cardboard boxes labeled, "Pomair Asbestos Free Pro 1800 Hair Dryer/Styler."

Independent discount, hardware, and variety stores nationwide sold the hair dryers from May 1994 through September 1996 for about $6.

Consumers should stop using the recalled hair dryers immediately and return them to the stores where purchased for a full refund. For more information, consumers can call MBR at (800) 325-0015. Consumers who live in Florida can call MBR collect at (305) 769-1000.

When buying a hair dryer, consumers should look for a large, rectangular-shaped plug at the end of the cord indicating the presence of a GFCI. 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.

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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