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Mirror Deemed Playground Hazard

Photonics Spectra
Sep 2001
Accidents on the playground typically involve hard surfaces, lead paint and sharp edges. A plastic dome from Kompan Inc. of Olympia, Wash., a subsidiary of Kompan A/S of Ringe, Denmark, presented a new hazard: the sun. Light from the mirrored dome, which was designed to entertain preschoolers with their distorted reflections, ignited the shirtsleeve of a 3-year-old child playing near the structure at The Family Center in Bristol, Conn., causing second-degree burns.

State investigators determined that the dome focuses sunlight under particular conditions, producing temperatures as high as 250 ºF. Dan Lang, president of Kompan Inc., said that it issued an immediate recall of the mirrored bubbles, which were installed at 38 locations, and a letter from General Manager Timothy J. Madeley offered to replace them with clear domes.

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