- Polaris Recalls Quad Bikes Over Asbestos Concerns
- October 10, 2017
Polaris has recalled several models of its youth quad bikes, manufactured between 2001 and 2017, because asbestos was found in the brake pads, brake shoes, washers, and gaskets. The “powersports” company, which sells its products globally, is based in Minnesota and conducted the asbestos tests here in the U.S. Up to 13,000 Polaris’ all terrain vehicles (ATV) targeted toward children could contain the dangerous parts. The models that have been recalled include:
- Ace 150
- Outlaw 50, 90, and 110
- Phoenix 200
- Predator 50 and 90
- Sawtooth 200
- Scrambler 50 and 90
- Sportsman 90 and 110
These ATVs were made for ages six and up, meaning that children and their parents may be at risk of asbestos exposure. This is not the first time that asbestos has been found in a product designed for use by children.
The Polaris Australia country manager has claimed that that there is an extremely low chance the asbestos fibers in the ATV quad bike parts could become airborne and inhaled by users. However, the company seems to be taking no chances, especially since there is no known safe minimum asbestos exposure level. The risk of exposure is higher for people who perform maintenance or home mechanical work on the quad bikes, since these people are more likely to handle the parts found to contain asbestos.
Polaris sources the components for the quad bikes from all over the world. The company has said that it is diligently working to discover the origin of the asbestos and find out how it got into the bike components. Dealers have been asked not to sell or service the product, but Polaris says users can continue to ride the bikes.
What is Asbestos?
Asbestos is a fibrous mineral that was widely used prior to the 1980s because of its fire-retardant and insulating properties. However, as early as the 1930s, corporations learned that asbestos fibers, when inhaled, could cause deadly diseases such as pleural mesothelioma and lung cancer. By the 1980s use of asbestos was heavily regulated, but the deadly mineral has not been completely banned for use in the U.S.
Those who are most at risk of developing pleural mesothelioma and other diseases caused by asbestos exposure are those people who regularly worked with asbestos-containing products over a long period of time. Diseases caused by asbestos have a long latency period – pleural mesothelioma can take several decades to show symptoms. Because of this long latency period, workers who used asbestos-containing products prior to the increased regulation in the 1980s may have just recently been diagnosed with diseases caused by their asbestos exposure.Even with the increased asbestos regulation, the U.S. still allows asbestos to be used in certain products, such as brake pads. However, there should be absolutely no place for this deadly fibrous mineral in children’s products and sports equipment.