The Legal Examiner Affiliate Network The Legal Examiner The Legal Examiner The Legal Examiner search feed instagram google-plus avvo phone envelope checkmark mail-reply spinner error close
Skip to main content

On October 22, 2021, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced the recall of about 3,900 aromatherapy room sprays sold at Walmart because they could be contaminated with dangerous bacteria.

Now, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has expanded the recall to include five more products sold under the same brand.

Aromatherapy Sprays May Be Contaminated with Dangerous Bacteria

The original recall included about 3,900 bottles of Better Homes and Gardens-branded essential oil-infused aromatherapy room spray with gemstones, in the lavender-chamomile scent. The CDC tested a version of the product and determined it contained the dangerous bacteria Burkholderia psudomallei, which causes a condition called melioidosis.

Melioidosis, also called Whitmore’s disease, is an infectious disease that can attack humans or animals. Symptoms may include pain or swelling, fever, ulceration, and abscess, or may mimic a lung infection with cough, chest pain, high fever, headache, and anorexia. The bacteria can also cause a blood infection with symptoms including fever, headache, respiratory distress, abdominal discomfort, joint pain, and disorientation.

At the time, the CDC had identified four cases of the disease in the U.S., including two deaths. It also conducted tests and confirmed that the bacterial strain in one of the sprays—the lavender & chamomile scent—matched the one that sickened all four patients.

Now, the agency is concerned the bacteria may be in more products made by the same brand.

CDC Expands the Recall to Five Other Scents

The CDC is conducting additional testing for the presence of the same bacteria in five other scents under the same brand of aromatherapy sprays. It has also encouraged—and Walmart has complied—with a recall of these five other scents.

The original recall included the lavender & chamomile scent. The CDC and Walmart then expanded the recall to include these additional five scents:

  • Lemon & mandarin
  • Lavender
  • Peppermint
  • Lime & eucalyptus
  • Sandalwood & vanilla

Testing on these other five scents is going on now. At the time of this writing, the results were not yet available.

How to Return the Potentially Contaminated Sprays

Melioidosis is a condition that is difficult to diagnose and can be fatal, so the CDC has recommended that anyone who used these products or was around when they were used should be alert to potential symptoms.

Meanwhile, consumers should stop using the products immediately, double-bag them in clear, zip-top resealable bags, and place them in a cardboard box. Return the bagged and boxed product to a Walmart store for a refund.

It’s also best to wash sheets or linens on which the products were sprayed and to wipe down counters and surfaces that might have been exposed with a disinfectant cleaner.

Join the Discussion

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *.

Please do not include personal details in your comment. To message the author privately instead, click here.

Contacting the author via this website, either publicly or privately, does not create an attorney–client privilege.