Handheld Hair Dryer Definition:
A handheld hair dryer is an electrical appliance, intended to be held with one hand during use, which creates a flow of warm air for the purpose of drying hair.
Handheld Hair Dryer Hazards:
The CPSC has determined that handheld hair dryers that are not equipped with integral immersion protection are a substantial product hazard. A handheld hair dryer without this protection can be recalled. Integral immersion protection reduces the risk of electric shock if the hair dryer is immersed in, or otherwise contacts, water. Immersion protection is provided in the form of a block-shaped plug that incorporates a type of circuit interrupter.
Legal Background and Compliance Enforcement:
Section 15(j) of the Consumer Product Safety Act gives the CPSC the authority to specify, by rule, for a consumer product or class of consumer products, characteristics whose presence or absence the CPSC considers a "substantial product hazard" under 15(a)(2) of the CPSA. This type of rule is referred to as a "15(j) rule."
While a 15(j) rule does not establish a consumer product safety standard, placing a consumer product on this substantial product hazard list has certain consequences. A manufacturer who fails to report a substantial product hazard to the CPSC is subject to civil penalties under section 20 of the CPSA and possibly subject to criminal penalties under section 21 of the CPSA.
A product that is, or contains, a substantial product hazard, is subject to corrective action under section 15(c) and (d) of the CPSA. Thus, the CPSC can order the manufacturer, distributor, or retailer of the product to offer to repair or replace the product, or to refund the purchase price to the consumer. Finally, a product that is offered for import into the United States, and is, or contains, a substantial product hazard, must be refused admission into the United States under section 17(a) of the CPSA.