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P&M WORM PROBES ARE ELECTROCUTION HAZARD, FEDERAL SAFETY AGENCY SAYS

 P&M WORM PROBES ARE ELECTROCUTION HAZARD,
 FEDERAL SAFETY AGENCY SAYS
 WASHINGTON, Sept. 16 /PRNewswire/ -- The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission issued the following:
 PRODUCT: "WORM GETT'RS" worm probes by P&M Enterprises. The probes are used to shock worms to the soil surface to be gathered for fishing.
 PROBLEM: Worm probes pose an electrocution hazard to users and passers-by. Functionally identical worm probes have been involved in at least 28 deaths.
 WHAT TO DO: The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) urges consumers to stop using the worm probes immediately and destroy them.
 A "worm probe," a product that uses electrical current to shock earthworms to the soil surface to be gathered for fishing, could be fatal to users and passers-by. The CPSC says that "WORM GETT'RS" by P&M Enterprises, Caldwell, Idaho, use full-line voltage -- 110 to 120 volts -- and pose an electrocution hazard to those who use them or stand nearby. CPSC urges owners of the probes to discontinue use immediately and to destroy the products.
 The commission is aware of at least 28 deaths involving functionally identical worm probes. Most of the fatalities were children.
 About 30,000 P&M WORM GETT'RS have been sold by catalog and in retail stores nationwide since 1983. The probes consist of thin steel shafts that are inserted into unfinished wooden handles. The shafts are connected with 20 inches of 14-gauge insulated wire. One end of the wire is connected to an electrical plug that is inserted in an electrical outlet. WORM GETT'RS were sold as two-probe, six-probe and 12-probe models. They sold for approximately $8, $19 and $27 respectively.
 Most P&M WORM GETT'RS have no identifying marks. A small number of worm probes made after 1988 may have small hang tags with P&M Enterprise's name and address.
 Although the worm probes present an electrocution hazard, P&M is not recalling them because the company is bankrupt. CPSC urges consumers to stop using the worm probes immediately and destroy them.
 CPSC is the federal agency responsible for consumer product safety. CPSC is warning the public about this hazard as part of its mission to protect the public from unreasonable risks of injury and death associated with consumer products. The commission's objective is to reduce the estimated 28.5 million injuries and 21,600 deaths associated each year with the 15,000 different types of consumer products under CPSC's jurisdiction.
 To report an unsafe consumer product or a product-related injury, consumers may call the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission's toll-free hotline at 800-638-2772. A teletypewriter for the hearing impaired is available at 800-638-8270; the Maryland TTY number is 800-492-8104.
 -0- 9/16/92
 /NOTE: A graphic is available./
 /CONTACT: Stacey Reuben or Amy Palman of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, 301-504-0580/ CO: U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission; P&M Enterprises ST: District of Columbia IN: SU:


MH -- DC001 -- 9974 09/16/92 09:10 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Sep 16, 1992
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