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April 21, 1997

Release # 97-106
CPSC: Jane Francis
(301) 504-0580 Ext. 1187

CPSC and Division Sales Inc. Announce Hair Dryer Recall

CPSC and Division Sales Inc. Announce Hair Dryer Recall WASHINGTON, D.C. - In cooperation with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), Division Sales Inc. of Itasca, Ill., is recalling about 8,000 hand-held hair dryers. Since these hair dryers do not have a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) plug, they present a risk of electrocution if dropped in water while the dryer is plugged in and in either the "on" or "off" position.

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 estimated average of 18 electrocutions involving hand-held hair dryers each year. Since the introduction of immersion protection devices for hand-held hair dryers, the estimated average has decreased to two electrocutions a year.

CPSC and Division Sales Inc. are not aware of any injuries involving these hair dryers. This recall is being conducted to prevent the possibility of injury.

The hair dryer is made of white plastic and has the words "PROFESSIONAL STYLER...ASBESTOS FREE...HD-20...MADE IN CHINA" printed on it. The hair dryer has an ordinary plug rather than a GFCI plug to prevent electric shocks.

The hair dryer is packaged in triangle-shaped cardboard box labeled in part, "Professional HAIR~DRYER HD-20." There is a picture of the hair dryer on the box.

Independent discount and variety stores nationwide sold the hair dryers from December 1994 through February 1997 for about $11.

Consumers should stop using the recalled hair dryers immediately and return them to the store where purchased for a full refund. For more information, consumers can call Division Sales Inc. at (800) 621-8134.

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