WASHINGTON, Aug. 17, 2001 -- The Limited Inc. and its subsidiary, Mast Industries, have agreed to pay a civil penalty of $500,000. The penalty settles allegations by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) that the companies violated the federal Flammable Fabrics Act by knowingly importing and selling flammable children's sleepwear including pajamas and bathrobes.

CPSC alleges that The Limited and Mast placed children at risk by knowingly importing and selling through Limited Too stores (an independent retail chain formerly owned by The Limited) 100-percent polyester pajamas with a satin finish and 100-percent polyester fleece bathrobes that failed to comply with federal sleepwear flammability standards.

"The message to industry should be clear - we will not tolerate conduct that puts consumers at risk, including the sale of flammable sleepwear to consumers," said Ann Brown, the Commission chair. "Companies that violate the law will be punished. CPSC has already obtained $6.5 million in penalties so far this fiscal year for violations of consumer product safety laws. This is more than double the amount obtained in 2000 and more than twenty times the amounts obtained in the early 1990s."

The Limited and Mast deny the CPSC's charges.

The pajamas were sold as two-piece pullover or front button styles with sleeveless, short or long-sleeved tops and bottoms in various colors and patterns sold in girls' sizes 6-14. The robes were sold with a front wrap with shawl collar and a tie belt in girls' sizes 7-14. The Limited Too stores sold the pajamas from December 1995 through July 1998 and the robes from September 1998 through December 1998.

The Limited companies voluntarily recalled the pajamas in September 1998 and the robes in January 1999. The Limited and Mast report that they have implemented a comprehensive children's sleepwear compliance program. For more information about these recalls consumers should call Bob Atkinson at (614) 479-3739 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.