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RayAnswers
RayAnswers, Attorney
Category: Personal Injury Law
Satisfied Customers: 38900
Experience:  Texas lawyer for 29 years in personal injury
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I was given a very old (late 70's probably) hand held

Customer Question

I was given a very old (late 70's probably) hand held hair dryer and used it about 2 months before I realized how old it was. It is a Wonderwind Hi Styler 1500 made by I believe Helen of Troy. I don't see that it is on the list of companies and dryers
in 1979 that had asbestos, however I am a bit worried because it is so old. Is there a way to find out if this particular hair dryer contained asbestos? Thanks!
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Personal Injury Law
Expert:  RayAnswers replied 1 year ago.

Hi and welcome to JA. I am Ray and will be the expert helping you today.

You are probably correct here that this was one of the ones that had that had asbestos in it.Virtually all of these were discarded and there have been many hair dressers who have gotten cancer and related illnesses from these products.

Reference..

http://www.asbestos.com/occupations/hairdressers.php

Honestly it isn't worth your life here.I am sure you are attached to it but I would let this go here and get a new one that you know is safe.

Expert:  RayAnswers replied 1 year ago.

From article above..

These dryers came from several different manufacturers, including Conair and Remington, and they made up approximately 90 percent of all annual domestic hairdryer sales. In 1979, when the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission found that dryers from 11 major brands contained dangerous amounts of asbestos, each of the manufacturers issued a voluntary refund and return policy for the contaminated equipment. They all then discontinued production of asbestos-insulated dryers.

Again I would err on the side of caution and retire this one.It very likely had asbestos in it and is not in your health's interest to keep it around.

I appreciate the chance to help you today.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
What do you mean by the last message? Are you saying my
particular model was recalled and sold by Sears? I was not sure
if it was made in the late 70's or 80's and I have never been able
to find it on the recall list so I thought maybe it was not included.
I threw it out a long time ago but my Dad has lung cancer so I
was concerned that I may be more prone to it if I had used a
dryer that had asbestos. Like I said my mother in law gave it
to me and I know it is old but I don't know how old.
Expert:  RayAnswers replied 1 year ago.

There was basically a total recall in 1979 which is the year you mention.All of these kinds of hairdryers were recalled.

There is big difference between one made in 1979 and 1989.You used 1979 as a date.If you don't know here I sure would toss it.It may have sentimental value but we are talking life and death here , Mesothelioma, no used hair dryer is worth your life.Unless you can verify that it was after 1980 when all of them from that date on are safe I would dispose of it.It is not worth your life.

And Sears sold these in 1979 it was a common brand and they were nice hair dryers.But again it is not worth your life if you cannot verify it was say 1980 and after here.

Thanks again.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ok thanks! I already threw it out a long time ago I am
just concerned for health reasons. I just wondered if there
was any way I could verify if my particular dryer was on
the recall list. So just to clarify, what you are saying is that
if it is a 70's hair dryer it probably has asbestos but there
is no way to use the name and model number to figure out
the year and possible recall info. And Helen of Troy was
sold at Sears but not a Sears brand? Thanks and I will rate.
(It's just really old that is all I know and with this lung cancer
in the family I was hoping I could find out it was clear and
would not have to worry for nothing)
Expert:  RayAnswers replied 1 year ago.

Yes Sears sold it, anything 1979 and before should be discarded for safety reasons, there was a recall but that has passed at this point.I think you have right idea to be safe here and discard it.Scary the tings that had asbestos in them.My father in law was a mechanic all brake pads and shoes had this at one time.He died of cancer no one knows if it was related but having that in the air everyday regularly put him at risk.I would get a new one here and be safe.