WASHINGTON — Highly flammable women's robes sold by Blair LLC are now linked to nine deaths, and the company is expanding a recall to include more products imported from the Pakistani manufacturer.
Since June, Blair LLC of Warren, Pa., has received four more reports of deaths linked to the full-length women's chenille robes, according to a Thursday announcement from the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Earlier this year, there were reports of five deaths linked to the robes.
The products were initially recalled in April by Blair after it learned of three robes catching on fire, including one report of second-degree burns. Some of the products failed to meet federal flammability standards and they present a risk of serious burns to consumers if the garments are exposed to an open flame.
The consumer agency and Blair are expanding the recall to include more chenille robes and three other chenille products, all made by A-One Textile & Towel, of Karachi, Pakistan, according to the consumer agency. Blair received one report involving one of the newly recalled garments catching fire, but no reports of injuries.
About 300,000 units of the garments are now recalled, including the full-length women's chenille robes, women's chenille jackets, women's chenille lounge jackets, and women's chenille tops.
Most of the deaths linked to the full-length chenille robes occurred when the victims were cooking. The victims were mostly in their 70s and 80s, said CPSC spokesman Scott Wolfson. All nine reported deaths occurred before the April recall announcement.
"This robe is highly flammable, flames travel quickly up the robe," said Wolfson. "It's a deadly risk to women."
The recalled products were sold in Blair catalogs, online and at Blair stores in Warren, Pa.; Grove City, Pa.; and Wilmington, Del., from July 2000 through April 2007.
Most of the newly recalled items were sold before December 2004, the company said in a statement.
"Out of an abundance of caution we are recalling these additional products as well," according to the company. "Over the past several months, we have been working aggressively to retrieve the 162,000 chenille robes that were previously recalled."
For more information on the affected products and item numbers, consumers can call Blair at 877-392-7095 or visit http://www.blair.com/recall or http://www.cpsc.gov.
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