Rite Aid Recalls Antifreeze-Laced Smoke Machine Fuel

Jennifer reports, “Spoke to someone in [Rite Aid] corporate today- while they still insist the product is safe (no msds, though), they did say that due to “customer concern” (later rephrased as “all your calls”) they are recalling the product!”

Looks like the first official Consumerist.com recall was a success.

PREVIOUSLY: Rite Aid Selling Smoke Machine Fuel Containing Antifreeze


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  1. Uriel says:

    yes, there is a best.

  2. Asvetic says:

    … and it will be rebranded with a Nazi skull logo.

  3. consumerist11211 says:

    that rules!

  4. bambino says:

    fuck the fuck yes

  5. rmz says:

    while they still insist the product is safe

    I’d like to see the CEO of Rite-Aid volunteer to sit in an enclosed room with a fog machine running this stuff for 12 hours straight. After all, there’s nothing to worry about, right?

  6. Sockatume says:

    Is ethylene glycol actually toxic when inhaled? I’m genuinely curious, I mean we all know how the toxicity of a compound varies depending on dose and how it enters the body, right?

  7. infinitysnake says:

    While I’m very happy Consumerist helped get the word out, I’d like to think my four days of phone calls, nagging, and complaints had something to do with it. :-)

  8. ChewySquirrel says:

    shit guys this could have been perfectly safe. When stuff bonds to other stuff it tends to lose its original characteristics ie. hydrogen+oxygen=water.

  9. lockdog says:

    Several equally interesting jobs ago I worked as an atmospherics effects designer for a major theme park, so I thought I could do a little digging. Excepting the nasty cracked oil hazers that are used in old school Pink Floyd Laser Shows, some cutting edge hazers that use nothing but water (insider rumor has it these were developed by the Navy for hazing battlefields at sea), and the ubiquitous dry ice fog from everyone’s high school production on Brigadoon, theatrical smoke fog and haze uses some sort of glycol combined with glycerine to make smoke. My preference was always for those produced by Le Maitre.

    This page contains all of LeMaitre’s safety studies. Of particular interest is this academic study of several different smoke products, including five different glycols. Not a single one includes ethylene glycol. I’d guess that simply by being a glycol that it will make fog or haze, but as others have posted, the MSDS for ethylene glycol specifically mentions the dangers of inhaling the vapors of ethylene glycol.

    One side note: This study, and the others like it was done because over the years there has been a lot of concern about whether theatrical fog was safe. Performers and stage hands would complain of headaches and there was always that guy who would start coughing his head off the minute the tiniest wisp of smoke rolled into the audience. For the most part, and I say this kindly, it’s all in your head. This stuff, at least when made by pretty reputable companies is incredibly safe. Before one effect we designed was approved (it may or may not have involved giant whales insured for hundreds of millions of dollars) we had our own independent lab look at this stuff; everything from could bacteria grow in the fluid supply lines to what would happen if you swallowed a jug of it, whole. Trust me, if it got approved for us to use, its safe. Say what you want about keeping giant inbred animals captive and having them jump through hoops (I’ll half agree), but the guys in charge would not risk anything that might hurt their bottom line.

  10. Good job on the recall! This blog is the nightmare of corporate America. Kicking ass and taking names in the boardroom.

  11. Geee recalling death in vapor form? It’s about a week too late. Who do they have watching their back anyway!?

  12. The next Consumerist recall you should explore are these Oven Mitts from Linens ‘N Things. My dad bought one and I was using it for the first time to take a pizza out of the oven and literally within 1 second was treated to a rather alarming burning sensation on my thumb! Luckily I dropped the pan before any of my skin melted off (mmm… floor pizza) but I was baffled how quickly I got burned through an oven mitt. Isn’t this why they invented these things?

    Upon further investigation, I found that the thumb part of the mitt was manufactured without any insulation, leaving only a thin layer of rubber between your thumb and a 400 degree baking pan.

    We went back to the Linens ‘N Things to exchange the mitt, thinking it was an isolated error, only to find that nearly the whole rack of the same gloves had the same defect! We found only 3 of the about 40 mitts on sale to have insulated padding in the thumb. So, we exchanged our thumb-burning mitt for one with thumb insulation, and it works like a charm!

    So, it seems as though all the mitts should have the thumb insulation, but do not.

  13. King of the Wild Frontier says:

    @Sockatume: Yes.

    For the win, indeed! (Although now I’ll have to find another source for corpses for Halloween decoration, dagnabbit. Wonder if I can get diacetyl in bulk?)