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Recall notices join `Most Wanted' posters at post office

Posted: Tuesday, April 18, 2000

WASHINGTON (AP) - America's post offices will soon have a new poster to accompany the FBI's ``Most Wanted'' list of dangerous criminals. The Consumer Product Safety Commission announced Tuesday it would put up posters of safety recalls to alert the public to the most dangerous products.

About 33,000 post offices, where 7 million people go each day to mail letters and ship packages, will get the new posters. The first posters should be up later this week, officials said.

Commission Chairwoman Ann Brown said the posters - with color pictures of the recalled products - will allow people to recognize hazardous products around the house.

``We can get dangerous products off store shelves but the real challenge is to get them out of families' homes,'' she said.

Francia Smith, vice president of consumer affairs for the U.S. Postal Service, said postal officials decided to become involved because ``we're convinced that this action will help prevent injuries and save lives.''

``As the one hand that binds this nation together, the Postal Service is the communication network that reaches out to each and every individual in this nation,'' she said.

Officials from 32 states also will visit thrift stores to seek out the recalled products, Brown said.

The new outreach program was launched as the commission announced its annual recall roundup, a list of products that were recalled throughout the previous year. Among those making the list and the posters include:

-Pokemon balls from Burger King ``kids meals'' that can suffocate children under 3. More than 25 million balls were recalled in December after a 13-month-old girl and a 4-month-old boy died.

-Infant car seats and carriers made by Cosco that have handle locks that can unexpectedly release, allowing the baby to fall to the ground. The company sold 670,000 of the ``Arriva'' and ``Turnabout'' models before they were recalled in July because 28 youngsters were injured.

-Plastic swimming pool ``divesticks'' sold under several brand names that injured 12 children between the ages of 5 and 11 when they landed on the sticks in the pool. Some 19 million sticks were sold. They were recalled in June.

-Portable cribs of the ``Playskool Travel-Lite'' model type that can collapse and entrap a child. More than 11,000 cribs were sold. There were several recall announcements in 1993 and 1998.

-Cedar chests made by The Lane Co. that have been blamed for seven deaths of children who have become trapped and suffocated. The chests were recalled in 1996, but 12 million were sold and many of them remain unaccounted for.

Consumers can get more information about recalled products by calling the commission's toll-free hotline, 800-638-2772, or by visiting the Web site at www.cpsc.gov. To get a list of major recalls, consumers can send a postcard to ``Recall List,'' CPSC, Washington, D.C. 20207.



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