Gel Packs Recall Triples to 880,000 Units

The packs could leak gel that may contain diethylene glycol and ethylene glycol if damaged. While these can cause illness if ingested in large amounts, there have been no new reports of incidents or injuries, CPSC said.

A January 2012 recall of Cryofreeze ice/hot and Arctic Zone ice gel packs has tripled in size, with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission announcing June 7 that California Innovations Inc. of Toronto, Canada, now is voluntarily recalling about 880,000 packs. Manufactured in China, the packs could leak gel that may contain diethylene glycol and ethylene glycol if damaged; these can cause illness if ingested in large amounts, but there have been no new reports of incidents or injuries, CPSC said. (OSHA does not have a PEL for diethylene glycol, which is an eye and skin irritant.)

The Canadian firm in January 2012 recalled about 248,000 units associated with lunch boxes and 55,000 associated with food carriers. These are the six gel pack styles being recalled:

  • Cryofreeze ice/hot packs in small and large styles. Both have opaque blue wrappers with the words "Cryofreeze," "Ice Pack/Hot Pack," "Non-toxic," and "Reusable" printed on the front. The small gel pack is 6 inches wide and 5.5 inches high, the large gel pack is 8.5 inches wide and 8 inches high.
  • Cryofreeze Transparent Cell ice/hot packs in three styles. Each has a transparent wrapper with the words "Cryofreeze," "Ice Pack/Hot Pack," "Non-toxic," and "Reusable" printed on the front. One three-cell pack has three connected rectangular pouches of blue gel and is 7.85 inches wide and 5.5 inches high. Another three-cell pack has three connected square pouches of blue gel and is 7.6 inches wide and 3 inches high. The two-cell pack has two connected square pouches of blue gel and is 5 inches wide and 3 inches high.
  • The Arctic Zone ice pack is 6.25 inches wide and 4 inches high and has an opaque blue wrapper. The Arctic Zone logo and a picture of an iceberg are on the front of the wrapper, along with the words "ICE," "Personal Ice Pack," and "Non-Toxic Leak Proof Gel."

These were sold nationwide at mass merchandise and warehouse stores, other retailers, distributors, and by online sellers between July 2007 and December 2008 in items such as coolers that were priced between $5 and $28.

CPSC said consumers immediately should stop using the packs and dispose of them according to federal, state, or local regulations, and the agency recommends that consumers contact their local waste disposal authority for instructions. Consumers can contact California Innovations (800-722-2545 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. EDT weekdays, email ci-recall@ca-innovations.com, or visit www.californiainnovations.com) to receive a $6 cash refund for large (8.5-inch x 8-inch) Cryofreeze gel packs or a $5 cash refund for all other gel packs.

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