3,500 Emergency Breathing Backpacks Recalled

Avalung backpacks sold in specialty outdoor and ski shops in 2010 may be defective and should be returned for inspection and possible replacement, according to manufacturer Black Diamond Equipment, Ltd.

Black Diamond Equipment, Ltd., in cooperation with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and Health Canada, has recalled about 3,500 Avalung backpacks that were sold in specialty outdoor and ski shops in 2010. The backpacks have an air intake system that extracts air from the snow, allowing the victim of an avalanche to breathe while buried under snow, but the air intake tubing can crack under cold temperatures, CPSC said. This may cause the unit not to function as intended, posing a suffocation hazard.

These units were made in China and sold for $180 to $280, the safety agency said.

Black Diamond, based in Salt Lake City, asked owners of the backpacks to return them immediately for inspection and possible replacement. At the company's recall website is a color chart to identify units included in the recall and also a printable return form.

For help identifying the recalled packs, for return instructions, and questions on the status of a replacement, contact the company at 801-278-5533 or by e-mailing avalung@bdel.com.

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