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November 17, 1999

CPSC Finds Hazardous Products Being Sold in 69% of Thrift Stores Visited

69 percent of thrift stores sell products presenting a risk of death or injury

Washington DC, (SafetyAlerts)  - The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) today kicked off a national campaign to alert the public that many thrift stores are selling hazardous products that have been recalled, banned or do not meet current safety standards.

From May through September 1999, CPSC visited 301 randomly selected thrift stores nationwide. According to the CPSC's study, 69 percent of these stores were selling at least one hazardous product. The top three products found were children's jackets and sweatshirts with drawstrings presenting a strangulation hazard, hairdryers that do not protect against electrocution and cribs that do not meet current safety standards.

Each year, 250 to 300 general products are recalled each year. The CPSC can get recalled products off retail shelves, but cannot go into consumers' homes and remove them. Recalled products end up being donated or sold in the second-hand goods market, including thrift stores.

"The products found pose a danger of death or serious injury to consumers," said CPSC Chairman Ann Brown. "Many consumers and thrift store operators may be unaware of recalls, bans and current safety standards of products offered for sale in the stores."

CPSC found that thrift stores nationwide, including those run by national organizations and local and independent stores, sell the following hazardous products:

  • 51 percent sell children's jackets and sweatshirts with drawstrings, presenting a strangulation hazard.
  • 20 percent sell hair dryers without protection against electrocution.
  • 12 percent sell cribs that do not meet current federal and voluntary safety standards, presenting risks including entrapment and strangulation.
  • 10 percent sell recalled halogen torchiere floor lamps without wire or glass guards, presenting a fire hazard.
  • 7 percent sell recalled play yards and playpens with protruding hardware or collapsible top rails, presenting a strangulation hazard.
  • 4 percent sell recalled car seat carriers with handles that can unexpectedly disengage, causing the seat to flip forward and injure infants.
  • 3 percent sell recalled toy basketball sets with nets that present a strangulation hazard to children.
  • About 1 percent sell other hazardous products including banned lawn darts, recalled cedar chests and recalled bean bag chairs, all of which present injury and death hazards to children.

CPSC is seeking a commitment from thrift stores to stop selling hazardous products.

Consumers and store owners should check second-hand products to verify there are no recalls affecting that item. provides a comprehensive recall listing on general products as well as foods, automobiles, drugs and medicines.  SAFEMAIL is a free email alerting service available at the web site which can help people stay up to date on these alerts.

Safety Alerts compiles comprehensive safety recall information for the United States. SafeMail is a free email service to warn consumers of faulty products and contaminated foods. For complete information regarding current recalls, past recalls and timely product warning notification visit:



The information contained herein has been obtained from sources that the Company believes to be reliable, however, the Company has not independently verified or confirmed the information and the recipient acknowledges that no representations or warranties are being made in connection with the use of the information.