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CONTACT: Kate Primo

January 19, 1996

(301) 504-7046

Release # 96-061


CPSC Warns Of Failures With Sinostone Carbon Monoxide Detectors

WASHINGTON, D.C.- The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is urgently warning consumers that approximately 18,700 SC-01 carbon monoxide (CO) detectors imported and distributed by Sinostone Corporation of Wood Dale, Ill., may fail to alarm. As a result, consumers could be exposed to dangerous levels of carbon monoxide, a colorless, odorless, toxic gas, which could lead to serious injury or death.

CPSC tested SC-01 detectors and found that the detectors could fail to alarm at concentrations of CO as high as 1,000 parts per million. Concentrations at this level could lead to permanent brain damage or death in as little as 35 minutes.

CPSC requested that Sinostone recall the detectors, remove them from store shelves, and contact retailers and consumers about this recall. CPSC is unilaterally issuing this press release concerning Sinostone's SC-01 CO detectors because the company is unable to participate in a recall and has not warned the public about potential risks associated with the CO detectors.

The rectangular, grey, plastic detectors measure approximately 5.5 inches long, 3.25 inches wide, and 1.5 inches deep, with vertical vents and the word "Accusniffer" on the front of the detector. A green "Power" light and a red "Alarm" light appear in the center of the detectors above the "Test/Reset" button. The model number, company name, and address are located on a sticker on the back of the detector. The detectors have a white cord and plug and a battery back-up system.

Hardware stores and home improvement stores sold the detectors nationwide from October 1994 to August 1995 for a wholesale price of approximately $28. The detectors were packaged in a rectangular green box labeled in part, "Accusniffer...110 Volt Plug-in plus Battery Backup...SC-01, Stand alone model..."

Consumers are urged to stop using Sinostone SC-01 CO detectors and replace them with new detectors that meet the October 1, 1995 requirements of Underwriters Laboratories Standard 2034.

CO is produced when fuel is burned with incomplete combustion. CO poisoning from home fuel-burning appliances and camping equipment kills at least 250 people each year and sends another 5,000 to hospital emergency rooms for treatment. Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are similar to the flu (without the fever). They include dizziness, fatigue, headache, nausea, and irregular breathing. Common sources of carbon monoxide include room heaters, furnaces, charcoal grills, ranges, water heaters, and fireplaces.

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