Archive for the ‘Consumer Product Safety Commission’ Category

‘It’s shiny, it’s round’ — and it can kill your child: Guard against accidental poisoning


By Russ Van Arsdale, executive director Northeast CONTACT
Posted July 06, 2014, at 10:15 a.m.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that nine of every 10 accidental poisonings of children happen in the home. The CPSC also says those cases involve more than our medicine and kitchen cabinets.

Safety experts urge that we “go beyond the bottle” and look all through our homes for possible dangers. They say we need to look at things through a child’s eyes and seek out anything that might be appealing to a youngster.

“It’s shiny, it’s round, and children can’t tell the difference,” says Dr. Karen Simone, director of the Northern New England Poison Center (NNEPC). Simone says tens of thousands of children who think they are eating candy have to be treated for accidental poisonings every year.

She says most of us think of household cleaners and insecticides as the major problems. However, she says children can grab common products such as toothpaste and deodorants, if they’re not kept out of reach; these products can also cause health problems when ingested.

NNEPC compiles statistics on accidental exposures to harmful things. Accompanying the stats is a reminder that numbers of exposures do not equal numbers of patients treated for those exposures; because little hands and mouths are attracted to all kinds of things, multiple exposures are all too common.

From 2011 to 2013, the center recorded 40,080 exposures in youngsters up to age 5. More than 6,000 of those exposures involved cosmetics or other personal care products. The next leading causes of problems were analgesics — mainly ibuprofen and acetaminophen — in what Dr. Simone describes as “therapeutic misadventures.”

Some of those accidents relate directly to our busy lifestyles. Adults hurrying through their morning routines may set out medication on the kitchen table; while their backs are turned, “a small child will scoop it up before they take it.”

Another issue involves adults putting chemicals of various kinds into food or drink containers for storage. Toddlers who don’t yet read act based on what they see; if they see something that looks like food or drink, they may ingest it faster than an adult can react.

Then there’s the matter of many Mainers’ addiction to opioids. An increasing number of take-home medications pose increased risks to children.

“We need to treat the people, but we have to look at the whole picture,” Simone says, urging more awareness by treatment professionals and patients alike.

A final caution involves caregiver errors. More and more women are working, and men are handling more household duties; Simone says this “has led to some confusion” in administering medications. Communication is the key to keeping consumers safe.

Call NNEPC at 800-222-1222 if you suspect there has been an accidental poisoning. You may also call just to ask a question. Simone urges people not to be embarrassed to call, and says they may call anonymously if they like.

For more information, visit

Consumer Forum is a collaboration of the Bangor Daily News and Northeast CONTACT, Maine’s all-volunteer, nonprofit consumer organization. For assistance with consumer-related issues, including consumer fraud and identity theft, or for information, write Consumer Forum, P.O. Box 486, Brewer 04412, visit or email

Coleman Recalls Northstar Lanterns Due to Fire Hazard |

Units About 95

Recall Summary

Name of product: Northstar® Liquid Fuel Lanterns

An incorrect gas feed tube was installed on the lantern. When lit, the tube can release too much fuel, posing fire and burn hazards.

This recall involves Northstar® liquid fuel lanterns with model number 2000B750 and date codes 10 13 or 11 13. The model number is printed on the base of the lantern, under the lighting instructions. The date code is stamped on the underside of the lantern. A Coleman logo sticker is affixed to the front of the lantern base. The green lanterns measure about 13” tall by 7” wide by 7” deep.

The firm has received two reports of lanterns catching fire when fuel unexpectedly leaked from the bottom of the unit. No injuries have been reported.

Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled lanterns and contact The Coleman Company, Inc. for a replacement lantern.

Sold at
Sporting goods stores nationwide and online at from November 2013 through February 2014 for about $125.

The Coleman Company, Inc. of Wichita, Kan.

Manufactured in USA


Wal-Mart Recalls Dolls Due to Burn Hazard |

Hazard: The circuit board in the chest of the doll can overheat, causing the surface of the doll to get hot, posing a burn hazard to the consumer.

About 174,000


The My Sweet Love / My Sweet Baby electronic baby doll comes in pink floral clothing and matching knit hat. The 16 inch doll is packaged with a toy medical check-up kit including a stethoscope, feeding spoon, thermometer and syringe. The doll’s electronics cause her to babble when she gets “sick,” her cheeks turn red and she starts coughing. Using the medical kit pieces cause the symptoms to stop. “My Sweet Baby” is printed on the front of the clear plastic and cardboard packaging. The doll is identified by UPC 6-04576-16800-5 and a date code which begins with WM. The date code is printed on the stuffed article label sewn into the bottom of the doll.


Wal-Mart has received 12 reports of incidents, including two reports of burns or blisters to the thumb.


Consumers should immediately take the dolls from children, remove the batteries and return the doll to any Walmart store for a full refund.

Sold exclusively at

Walmart stores nationwide from August 2012 through March 2014 for $20.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Be wary of charity scams in wake of Typhoon Haiyan


By Russ Van Arsdale, Executive Director, Northeast CONTACT
Posted Nov. 17, 2013, at 9:59 a.m.

‘Tis the season to be scammed by bogus relief organizations. Okay, it doesn’t rhyme or even roll off the tongue, but it’s a warning some of us won’t heed before parting with some cash.

Typhoon Haiyan appears to be the most powerful storm ever to reach land. It battered the Philippines with winds of more than 200 miles per hour, killing thousands. Relief efforts were launched from around the world, as were scams laced with emotional appeals that their “charity” was the one deserving of your donation.

“Super Typhoon Haiyan Disaster Relief” tops the list of hot topics at the website of Charity Navigator ( The organization reports on the ways many charities perform, how much of their fund-raising goes to the good works they purport to support, and even points out low-performing charities with highly paid executives. Charity Navigator lists 22 organizations that are putting donations where they’re needed to help the people of the Philippines. Charity Watch and Guidestar are similar sources of information.

Not every relief group allows donors to designate exactly where their contributions go. Some put all dollars into a general fund, and some set aside leftover donations for relief work in future disasters. If you want to donate only for typhoon relief, make sure the charity you select allows you to make that stipulation.

The outright scammers will be long on promises and vague on details. If you receive a call or solicitation by email or regular mail, watch out for these signs of a scam:

— The group is unknown or recently created, but has a name that sounds like a legit charity.

— People who reach out to you online claim to be victims; unless you know them personally, steer clear.

— Watch out for offers of prizes; real charities don’t try to bribe you with sweepstakes winnings or other freebies.

— Don’t send cash — there’s no guarantee it will get to its destination, and you’ll have no record of the donation for tax purposes.

— Never give out personal or financial information, including your bank account and credit card number, unless you are certain the charity is legitimate.

If you get a call seeking a donation, ask if the caller is a paid fundraiser, who the person works for and whether that firm is licensed to do business in Maine. Then ask what percentage of the funds raised goes to actual charity work. If you don’t like the answers to your questions, consider donating to another organization.

If you use social media, don’t give blindly to a group that posts emotional appeals. You still need to do your homework to make sure your charitable giving does what you want it to. Different charities work in different ways; your research can help assure that your giving goes to the needy, not the greedy.

If you plan to give online, look up your intended charity’s website. The FBI reported that 4,000 fake websites popped up after Hurricane Katrina. And don’t feel pressured by a telemarketer to make a donation. It’s your phone, and you can hang up at any time.

This newspaper wrote Friday of ways to donate through your church.

Today’s column focused on disaster relief giving, but the principles apply to all charitable donations. At this season of sharing, scammers are hard at work; don’t give them a cent.

Consumer Forum is a collaboration of the Bangor Daily News and Northeast CONTACT, Maine’s all-volunteer, nonprofit consumer organization. For assistance with consumer-related issues, including consumer fraud and identity theft, or for information, write Consumer Forum, P.O. Box 486, Brewer 04412, visit or email


CPSC – L.L.Bean Recalls Boat Carts for Canoes and Kayaks

CPSC – L.L.Bean Recalls Boat Carts for Canoes and Kayaks; Plastic Wheel Rims Can Burst and Injure Users.

Recall Details: About 2,200 Units

This recall involves L.L.Bean’s Deluxe Packaway Boat Carts used to haul canoes and kayaks into or out of the water by hand. The carts have a white and blue aluminum frame with rubber tires and have two black nylon straps marked L.L.Bean. The carts weigh about seven pounds. 

L.L.Bean has received two reports of the plastic wheel rims on the cart bursting, resulting in bruises to a consumer who was struck by broken, flying pieces.  No injuries were reported in the second incident.


Consumers should call L.L.Bean or go to the firm’s website for new instructions and psi stickers to put on the wheels of the cart.  Do not add air to the tires until reviewing the new instructions on the maximum inflation level or psi.

Sold exclusively at L.L.Bean stores nationwide, L.L.Bean’s catalog and online at from March 2012 through June 2013 for about $100.



Check your humidifier – Sears warns of fire danger

CPSC – Sears Reannounces Recall of Kenmore Dehumidifiers Due to Additional Reports of Fires, Burn, Low Consumer Response Rate.

Low response to August, 2012 recall.

Units: About 795,000 (previously recalled in August 2012)

Seven additional reports since recall.

Consumers should stop using this product unless otherwise instructed. It is illegal to resell or attempt to resell a recalled consumer product.

Recall date: July 17, 2013, Recall number: 13-238

Recall Summary

Name of product: Kenmore dehumidifiers

Hazard: The dehumidifiers can overheat, smoke, melt and catch on fire, posing fire and burn hazards to consumers.Consumer Contact:

LG Recall Fulfillment Center, toll-free at (855) 400-4641 between 8 a.m. and 7 p.m. CT Monday through Friday and between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. CT Saturday.  Consumers also can determine whether their product has been recalled and register for the remedy at

Report an Incident Involving this Product

Recall Details

Units: About 795,000 (previously recalled in August 2012)

This recall involves Kenmore brand 35-, 50- and 70-pint dehumidifiers made by LG and manufactured between 2003 and 2005. The dehumidifiers are made of white plastic and are between 21 and 24 inches tall, about 15 inches wide and about 13.5 inches deep. They have a fan, humidity controls and a Kenmore logo on their top front panels. They come with front-loading water buckets. Some models include remote controls. The model number can be found on the right side of the interior of the unit once the bucket has been removed. Recalled units have the following model numbers: 35-pint (2004) – 580.54351400,    50-pint (2003) – 580.53509300, 70-pint (2003) – 580.53701300, 70-pint (2004) – 580.54701400, 70-pint (2005) – 580.54701500



Sears has received seven additional incident reports of shorting and fire associated with the dehumidifiers, including one incident with a severe burn to a consumer’s foot and three fires resulting in more than $300,000 of property damage.


Consumers should immediately turn off and unplug the dehumidifiers and contact the Recall Fulfillment Center to receive a Sears gift card for either $75, $80, $90 or $100, which may be used at any Sears or Kmart store or at or The gift card amount will depend on the capacity and year of the dehumidifier. In lieu of a gift card, consumers may request a check for the refund amount. All consumers with recalled units will also receive a $25 coupon that may be used at Sears Department Stores or toward the purchase of a new Kenmore dehumidifier.

Sold exclusively at
Sears and Kmart stores nationwide and and from 2003 to 2009 for between $140 and $220.

LG Electronics (Tianjin) Appliance Co., Ltd., of Tianjin, China

LG Electronics USA Inc. and Sears

Sears, Roebuck and Co. and Kmart Corporation, of Hoffman Estates, Ill.

Manufactured in

Best Buy Battery Recall – WABI-TV

Russ Van Arsdale  and Wayne Harvey discuss Best Buy battery recall for MacBooks(video).

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced a recall of replacement batteries three weeks ago for MacBook.

The problem with the batteries are the can catch fire while charging. There were 13 reports to Best Buy about batteries catching fire. One of these case resulted in the consumer getting serious burns to their leg.

Batteries involved are 5,100 ATG brand lithium-ion replacement batteries, both black and white. They are marked MC-MBOOK 13B on the label of the black battery, and MC-MBOOK 13W on the label of the white batteries.

These products were sold through and They may also have been shipped to customers through Geek Squad Protection fulfillment at Best Buy from Sept. 2008 through June 2012.

Customers with these batteries should stop using them and contact Best Buy for a replacement Apple brand battery or a $50 best buy gift card.

For more information on this recall you can contact Best Buy by calling 1-888-737-6954 or email them at You can also go online at and click on “Product Recall” at the bottom of the page for more information.

Preparation the key to prevent swimming injuries, drownings


By Russ Van Arsdale, Executive Director Northeast CONTACT

Posted June 23, 2013, at 6:09 p.m.

Let’s get the troubling statistics out of the way first.

Most drownings involve children ages 1 to 4. Of children who died of unintentional injury in 2009, 30 percent died of drowning. For each child who dies in a drowning accident, five will need emergency room care for nonfatal, near-drowning injuries; half of them will need hospitalization or additional care.

Now, the good news. The vast majority of these injuries and deaths are preventable. Preparation – in the form of education and swimming skill – is the key.

Let’s take the last point first. Let’s make sure everyone who’s near any kind of water knows how to swim well. The American Red Cross is just one organization offering learn-to-swim and water safety courses (learn more at

Whether around the pool at home, at the beach or on Maine’s waterways, make sure that if something happens help is not far away. Have a well-stocked first aid kit handy. You or another responsible adult needs to be supervising children all the time. And make sure someone knows CPR – there are many courses for this as well.

Wearing life jackets is just common sense. While the letter of the law may require only persons age 10 and younger actually wear a personal floatation device, those other PFDs required to be on board won’t do much good if they’re stowed away. Make sure they’re Coast Guard-approved life vests in good condition and use them. Don’t entrust a child’s life to water wings, “noodles” or other toys.

Know local weather conditions before swimming or boating; storms can form quickly. When you’re near water, at home or away, stay in touch. Keep a cell phone handy; you can use it to summon help in an emergency.

Keep backyard pools safe and secure. Sturdy fences should keep unattended pools out of sight of young eyes; gates should be self-closing and self-latching. Install pool and gate alarms to alert you in case youngsters become too curious. Consider installing surface wave or underwater alarms.

If your house serves as the fourth side of a fence around a pool, install door alarms and use them. In addition to a first aid kit and flotation devices, have scissors handy, in case you need to cut hair, clothing or a pool cover.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission has a motto that sums up its ongoing safety campaign: Pool safely. The CPSC sums it up this way on its website ( “Adopt and practice as many safety steps around the water as possible — because you can never know which safety step will save a life — until it does.”

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has a wealth of summer safety tips that go beyond the beach or pool at

Consumer Forum is a collaboration of the Bangor Daily News and Northeast CONTACT, Maine’s all-volunteer, nonprofit consumer organization. For assistance with consumer-related issues, including consumer fraud and identity theft, or for information, write Consumer Forum, P.O. Box 486, Brewer 04412, visit or email


CPSC – Strollers Recalled by Kolcraft Due to Projectile Hazard

Consumers should stop using this product unless otherwise instructed. It is illegal to resell or attempt to resell a recalled consumer product.

Recall date: June 19, 2013
Recall number: 13-221

Recall Summary

Name of product:Jeep Liberty Strollers


The inner tube of the tire on the stroller can rupture causing the wheel rim to fracture and fly off as a projectile, posing a risk of bodily injury and property damage.

Consumer Contact:Kolcraft at (800) 453-7673 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET Monday through Friday or online at then click Safety Notifications for more information.

Report an Incident Involving this Product

Recall Details


About 96,000 in U.S. and about 510 in Canada


The recall includes Jeep Liberty branded strollers with model numbers starting with JL031, JL032, JL034, JL035 or JL036 manufactured between June 2010 and September 2011.  The model number and date of manufacture are printed on a white tag on the rear upper center of each seatback pad. The three-wheeled strollers were sold in different color fabric combinations with a metal black and silver frame including: green seat and canopy; gray seat and canopy with a teal blue stripe across the center of the canopy; orange seat and canopy with a tan stripe; tan seat and canopy with yellow stripe across the center top of the canopy; and tan seat and canopy with an orange canopy rim. “Jeep” is printed on the side of the stroller and on the front of the stroller tray. There is a plastic red toy steering wheel, ignition key and orange shift lever mounted on a yellow base attached to the stroller tray. If your stroller wheels have a gray triangle located on the rim at the valve stem then your stroller wheels are not included in this recall.


Kolcraft and the CPSC have received 39 reports of inner tube ruptures causing the wheel rim to fracture and fly off as a projectile. Of these, 18 included reports of injury, with 14 occurring while filling the tire with air by adult caregivers. Two children received lacerations to their chin or leg while standing near the stroller and 16 adults received abrasions, contusions and/or lacerations to their arms, legs, stomach or head/face. Two of the reports included property damage.


Consumers should immediately stop using the product and contact the company to receive free replacement wheels. Consumers should use a manual bicycle pump to inflate stroller tires to a maximum of 30 p.s.i.  Do not use gas station air pumps to inflate stroller tires.

Sold at

Burlington Coat Factory, Sears and Toys R Us nationwide, online and at other mass market and independent juvenile specialty stores from June 2010 through June 2013 for between $150 and $180.


Kolcraft Enterprises Inc., of Chicago, Ill.

Manufactured in



Fisher-Price recall due to risk of mold exposure

Fisher-Price Recalls to Inspect Rock ‘N Play Infant Sleepers Due to Risk of Exposure to Mold.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with the firm named below, today announced a voluntary recall of the following consumer product. Consumers should immediately inspect this product and stop using it if mold is found. Units currently in retail stores are not included in this recall to inspect.

Name of Product: Newborn Rock ‘n Play Sleeper™

Units: About 800,000 units

Importer: Fisher-Price Inc., of East Aurora, N.Y

Hazard: Mold can develop between the removable seat cushion and the hard plastic frame of the sleeper when it remains wet/moist or is infrequently cleaned, posing a risk of exposure to mold to infants sleeping in the product. The CPSC advises that mold has been associated with respiratory illnesses and other infections. Although mold is not present at the time of purchase, mold growth can occur after use of the product.

Incidents/Injuries: Fisher-Price has received 600 reports of mold on the product. Sixteen consumers have reported that their infants have been treated for respiratory issues, coughs and hives after sleeping in the product.

Description: This recall to inspect includes all Fisher-Price Rock N’ Play infant recliner seats called sleepers. The sleeper is designed for babies up to 25 pounds and is composed of a soft plastic seat held by a metal rocking frame. The product has a removable, fabric cover that is sold in 14 patterns and color palettes.

Sold at: Mass merchandise stores nationwide and online since September 2009 for between $50 and $85. Units currently in retail stores are not affected by this recall to inspect. Only products that show signs of mold after use by consumers are included in this announcement.

Manufactured in: China

Remedy: Consumers should immediately check for mold under the removable seat cushion. Dark brown, gray or black spots can indicate the presence of mold. If mold is found, consumers should immediately stop using the product. Consumers can contact Fisher-Price for cleaning instructions or further assistance. Cleaning and care instructions can also be found at or by contacting the firm.

Consumer Contact: Fisher-Price; at (800) 432-5437, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET Monday through Friday, or online at for more information.


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 72 other followers

%d bloggers like this: