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Recalled products often resold online, study says

August 21, 2007|From the Associated Press

Toys and other children's products recalled because of safety concerns are often resold through online auction sites, putting children at risk, according to a recent study.

EBay Inc.'s website prohibits the sale of recalled products, but enforcement efforts don't seem to be succeeding, said Keri Brown Kirschman, the study's lead author and an assistant psychology professor at the University of Dayton in Ohio.

Kirschman, who specializes in child psychology and pediatric injury prevention, said she searched for 141 recalled items on EBay for 30 consecutive days and found them offered in at least 144 online auctions. The products included play yards, baby walkers and safety devices.

About 70% of recalled items tracked were sold, she said.

Even sophisticated EBay users appear to be unaware of or uncooperative with policies intended to keep recalled products from being sold, the study said.

The study was conducted in 2004 at the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Columbus Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, and reported this month in the journal Injury Prevention.

"I hope this study raises awareness on all levels," Kirschman said Monday.

Nichola Sharpe, a spokeswoman for EBay, said the online auction site worked constantly to enforce its policy.

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