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Thank you Mr. Ex-Sysop for a really good tip.
This one warranted further looking into.
And the result was one of the most intensive investigations the Desk has ever done of an Internet Rumor since it began doing them some six years ago. Only the ongoing war against the 419 scam and all it's variations has taken a more sustained effort over a longer period of time. In that case- 6 years, And Counting.
And well, as with a lot of these things, there is just a glimmer of truth to feed the doom and gloom soothsaying of the SPAMMER. But, as with the vast majority of them, it's a collection of "he said she said her sister in law's nephew's math tutor's cousin…."
The Evaluation of the Email Itself:
The specifics are sorely lacking and searches for information on this specific case only come up with the SPAM that's been posted to various bulletin boards, and by several bloggers that seem to believe everything, and to all sorts of newsgroups. When the Desk applies the five 'W's to the email, nothing is answered. Who is the investigator? What state and insurance company? When did this terrible incident happen? Where's the fire marshal in all this? Why doesn't the Consumer Product Safety Commission seem to know anything about it since the recall in 2002? -and- How does this SPAM keep on going like that pink bunny? Well, that we can answer…
And now for some FACTS!
There WAS a recall in 2002 related to these things, and since then, there's been nothing verifiable in the record Consumer Product Safety Commission Recall Notice http://www.cpsc.gov
And Underwriter's Laboratories issued a warning about another brand in Sept 2004. www.UL.com
But the email has been going strong ever since then.
The statement below is from Glade's site here And it is also copied on their parent company's site scjohnson.com
SC Johnson recently learned that there have been postings on the Internet that have claimed that our products were involved in fires. It is important that you know that all of our PlugIns® products are safe and will not cause fires. We know this because PlugIns® products have been sold for more than 15 years and hundreds of millions of the products are being used safely.
Because we are committed to selling safe products, SC Johnson thoroughly investigated these rumors. First, we confirmed that no one had contacted SC Johnson to tell us about these fires or to ask us to investigate them. Additionally, we had a leading fire investigation expert call the fire department representative who is identified in one of the Internet postings. That fireman indicated that he has no evidence that our products had caused any fire.
Because this is America in the Twenty First Century the Desk also did a search for LAWSUITS involving the product. If a house fire had been attributed to the plug ins, or even suspected of being caused by them, somebody, somewhere, would have filed a major lawsuit.
There ain't one.
It is amazing how people that cry about pollution and who will cough at the Desk's pipe or cigar smoke will spray air freshener everywhere and use that auto-puffer spray thing in their house, as well as the plug in warm scent devices like the one we're talking about.
When you think about it, the only thing the plug ins are doing is running up your electric bill and releasing biologically active chemicals into the air that you are breathing the whole time you're home.
They are Always On and Always Drawing Current no matter what. And once the cartridge is out of scent, they are still on. And yes, the chemicals in them are active (like a skunk's scent), that's why you can smell them. Glass and stainless steel are not active at room temperature, so they're really tough to smell. The scents used in the air fresheners react with your nose, so you CAN smell them. Now, what's long term exposure all day and all night do to you? Remember, it's the dose that makes the poison…. hhhmmmmm
The only sound advice the Desk could find was that if you are REALLY in need of an air freshener… Buy the old ones that come in a bottle with the pull out wick or the little plastic tub that is full of moist foam that smells good. That and clean your carpet, cat box, laundry bin, and dishes once in awhile and on odd occassion: open a window and air out the room. Many of today's newer houses are so air tight there is little circulation and smells do tend to build up in them. In something as old and drafty as the Desk's house, that is not a problem.
That, and Don't Believe postings and blogs and forwarded emails that don't check stuff out but just posts and forwards whatever comes down the pike.
More information on the panic SPAM below email exchange.
Having taken one of these gadgets apart, I was amazed how cheaply made these things are, and the underrated wiring they have in them. Mine are gone!
Thanks for the tip my friend.
The Desk will take a look and see what can be found. We don't use the things at all and never have, but we know some that do, and the Desk has always wondered about them. Not about the fire, but what sitting around breathing the stuff that comes out of them does to you. Besides, the Electric Company is doing just fine without either of us contributing more to their bottom line.
A Blogger that is a True Believer: Bitter Beauty Dot Com http://www.20six.co.uk/weblogEntry/42qmolh9pia2
Sources on the hoax:
Hoaxbusters.ciac.org looks at it.
The Famous Snopes.com's page.
Some places to go to check out Product Panic Emails and other hoaxes
Consumer Product Safety Commission http://www.cpsc.gov
Underwriter's Laboratories http://www.ul.com/
The Consumers Union http://www.consumersunion.org/
SPAM EMAIL BELOW
PASS THIS ON TO ALL THE PEOPLE YOU KNOW!!!!
Read this, it may save your
house...AND your family!
This one hits very close to home for me, friends.
Please read, it could save your family. This is one of those e-mails that, if you don't send it, assuredly someone on your list will suffer for not reading it. Some friends learned a hard lesson this last week. Their house burned down...nothing left but ashes. They have good insurance, so the home will be replaced and most of the contents. That is the good news. However, they were sick when they found out the cause of the fire. The insurance investigator sifted through the ashes for several hours. He had the cause of the fire traced to the master bathroom. He asked what was plugged in, in the bathroom. They listed the normal things...curling iron, blow dryer, etc. He kept saying to her, "No, this would be something that would disintegrate at high temperatures. " Then, she remembered she had a Glade Plug-in in the bathroom. The investigator had one of those "Aha" moments.
He said that was the cause of the fire. He said he has seen more home fires started with the plug-in-type room fresheners than anything else. He said the plastic they are made from is a THIN plastic. He said in every case there was nothing left to prove that it even existed.
When the investigator looked in the wall plug, the two prongs left from the plug-in were still in there. They had one of the plug-ins that had a small night light built in it. She said she had noticed that the light would dim...and then finally go out.
She would walk in a few hours later, and the light would be back on again. The investigator said that the unit was getting too hot, and would dim and go out rather than just blow the light bulb.
Once it cooled down, it would come back on. That is a warning sign. The investigator said he personally wouldn't have any type of plug in fragrance device anywhere in his house. He has seen too many burned down homes.
PASS THIS ON TO ALL THE PEOPLE YOU KNOW!!!!
[NOTE: The Desk is NOT affiliated with: SC Johnson or any of its properties, Underwriter's Laboratories, The Consumers Union, or any other entity listed in this article. The Desk does NOT endorse the blogger mentioned in the article. No disrespect, legal advice, or stock market information should be inferred from this article. Thank You ]
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