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Walmart Recalls Air Freshener Due To Dangerous Bacteria Linked To Two Deaths

One of the recalled products
One of the recalled products Photo Credit: United States Consumer Product Safety Commission

Walmart has recalled about 3,900 bottles of room spray products due to the possible presence of a dangerous bacteria linked to two deaths in the United States.

The recall was issued after tests by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) determined that a bottle of the "Better Homes and Gardens Essential Oil Infused Aromatherapy Room Spray with Gemstones" contained rare bacteria, Burkholderia pseudomallei, according to a report from the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission. 

The room spray products were sold at about 55 Walmart locations across the country, and online at Walmart.com between February 2021 through October 2021, the report said.

The following items are included in the recall:

  • 84140411420 Better Homes and Gardens (BHG) Gem Room Spray Lavender & Chamomile
  • 84140411421 Better Homes and Gardens (BHG) Gem Room Spray Lemon and Mandarin
  • 84140411422 Better Homes and Gardens (BHG) Gem Room Spray Lavender
  • 84140411423 Better Homes and Gardens (BHG) Gem Room Spray Peppermint
  • 84140411424 Better Homes and Gardens (BHG) Gem Room Spray Lime & Eucalyptus
  • 84140411425 Better Homes and Gardens (BHG) Gem Room Spray Sandalwood and Vanilla 

The rare bacteria causes melioidosis, a condition that can be fatal, the CPSC said.

The CDC is investigating four cases of melioidosis in the United States, including two deaths. One of the people who died was a child, officials reported.

Cases were reported in Kansas, Minnesota, Texas and Georgia. 

Samples taken from a bottle of the room spray found in the home of the Georgia victim found the presence of the bacteria.

The CDC reported on Tuesday, Oct. 26, that it had confirmed that "the spray or one of its ingredients caused the four melioidosis infections."

“When you think about the thousands of things people come in contact with around their homes, it’s remarkable we were able to identify the source and confirm it in the lab,” said Inger Damon, director of CDC’s Division of High-Consequence Pathogens and Pathology. “CDC scientists and our partners found the proverbial needle in the haystack.” 

Consumers who purchased the products are urged by the CDC to take the following precautions:

  • Stop using this product immediately. Do not open the bottle. Do not attempt to throw away or dispose of the bottle.
  • Double bag the bottle in clean, clear zip-top resealable bags and place in a small cardboard box. Return the bagged and boxed product to a Walmart store.
  • Wash sheets or linens that the product may have been sprayed on using normal laundry detergent and dry completely in a hot dryer, bleach can be used if desired.
  • Wipe down counters and surfaces that might have been exposed to the spray with an undiluted disinfectant cleaner.
  • Minimize handling of the product and wash hands thoroughly after handling the bottle or linens. Wash hands thoroughly after removing gloves.

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