Washington, DC (Associated Press)
Number two pencils worldwide are subject to a voluntary recall of the product regardless of manufacturer, based on a study by The National Bureau of Standards. The recall was initiated because of recent reports that the graphite did not receive the proper additives to increase tensile strength and might break excessively and, therefore, unnecessarily.
?Performance of a number two pencil should include the confidence by the user that crossing a ?T? or dotting an ?I? will not threaten the integrity of the tool,? stated NBS spokesman Todd Bertie. ?The number two pencil, using its current formulation, does not support that confidence or dependency during use.?
The investigation began in the early 1960?s when reports began to trickle in that some pencils couldn?t stand up to the demands of normal use. Number one pencils were considered steadfast by 1971, however, and the focus then shifted entirely to those containing number two graphite. ?It became clear that there was a trend,? stated Bertie.
With such a large number of manufacturers, however, the investigation and subsequent recall took years to execute as it required concurrence of several government agencies to agree to the move. Manufacturers must now reconfigure the formula in order to continue selling pencils with the ?#2? designation. Manufacturers could, however, continue to make the pencils using the current formula and merely rebadge pencils as #2.1, for example, Bertie admitted.
Holders of the faulty number two pencils may return them to place of purchase for full refund without receipt.
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