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In April of 2002, SC Johnson announced a recall of 2.5 Million of its Glade® Extra Outlet Scented Oil Air Fresheners, because the products posed a risk of fire. The air fresheners were sold between January 2002 and April 2002. SC Johnson stated in a press release that the “Glade Plugins® products are safe and will not cause fires.”

While the press release is undated, as stated in the release

SC Johnson recently learned that there have been postings on the Internet that have claimed that its products were involved in fires.

This would put the release at a time at least around Fall of 2002. It also seems intended to convince users of the safety of using Glade products and to assure them there is no risk of fire.

However, around this same time of the recall and press release, SC Johson was defending a lawsuit brought by the widow of a man who died from a house fire, alleging that a defective Glade product casued the fire. The case is Riely vs. S.C. Johnson & Sons, Inc., and was venued in the New York State. The incident occured in 1998, and the case was heard for summary disposition in August of 2002–right after the recall. I am also aware of several lawsuits claiming house fires from the recalled 2002 air fresheners–in Arizona and Colorado.

While it may be natural for SC Johnson to defend the safety of its products, the company may be understating the risk of fires. As with all products, you should be aware of the most current information related to a product’s safety, read the directions and warnings and report problems to the goverment immediately.

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