WASHINGTON (AP) _ About 500,000 Black & Decker blenders are being recalled because the blades can weaken or break while in use, the government said Friday.


Applica Consumer Products Inc. of Miramar, Fla., is aware of at least 18 incidents of blades breaking, though no injuries have been reported, the Consumer Product Safety Commission said.


The five-speed, 550-watt ProBlend blenders with 48-ounce glass jars bear model numbers BL5000, BL5900 or BL6000.


Manufactured in China, the blenders were sold nationwide by retailers from December 2003 to January 2005 for $40 to $60.


Consumers are urged to stop using the product and contact Applica for a free replacement blade by visiting www.regcen.com/blenderrecall or by calling 800-385-6686, weekdays 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. EST.