Products affected in the recall include Pine-Sol Scented Multi-Surface Cleaners (Lavender Clean, Sparkling Wave and Lemon Fresh scents), CloroxPro Pine-Sol All Purpose Cleaners (Lavender Clean, Sparkling Wave, Lemon Fresh and Orange Energy scents) and Clorox Professional Pine-Sol Lemon Fresh Cleaners.
According to Clorox, products for recall have date codes printed on the bottle beginning with "A4" followed by a five-digit number less than 22249. The codes corresponded to products manufactured before September 2022.
"The recalled products may contain bacteria, including Pseudomonas aeruginosa, an environmental organism found widely in soil and water. People with weakened immune systems or external medical devices who are exposed to P. aeruginosa face a risk of serious infection that may require medical treatment," the manufacturer explained. (Related: Not every store-bought cleaning product can protect you from coronavirus.)
"The bacteria can enter the body if inhaled, through the eyes, or through a break in the skin. People with healthy immune systems are usually not affected by the bacteria. Out of an abundance of caution, the company decided to conduct a voluntary recall."
The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) also confirmed the recall on its website.
"To date, testing has identified bacteria in certain recalled [Pine-Sol] products, including those produced between January 2021 and September 2022," it wrote. The CPSC added that Clorox produced approximately 37 million recalled products in that period at its Forest Park, Georgia manufacturing facility.
The commission urged affected customers to "take pictures of the 12 digit universal product code (UPC) and the date code, dispose of the product in its container with household trash and contact Pine-Sol for a full refund of the purchase price with receipt, or of the manufacturer's suggested retail price without receipt."
Clorox said the Original Pine-Sol (Pine scent) is not affected by the product recall and that consumers can "continue to safely use it as intended."
"We are working with the CPSC on issuing this voluntary recall to notify retailers and consumers," said a spokesperson for Pine-Sol. Consumers can submit a request for refund at PineSolRecall.com or the hotline 1-855-378-4982.
"You can expect to receive a check for the cost of the product plus approximate tax, or the amount on the receipt, within approximately four to six weeks."
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) elaborated on the risks of P. aeruginosa infections in healthcare settings. It mentioned that in 2017 alone, the pathogen's multidrug-resistant strain caused an estimated 32,600 infections among hospitalized patients and 2,700 deaths in the United States.
The public health agency pointed out that those on ventilators, those with devices such as catheters and those with wounds from surgery or burns are susceptible to P. aeruginosa infections.
The pathogen "lives in the environment and can be spread to people in healthcare settings when they are exposed to water or soil that is contaminated with these germs. Resistant strains of the germ can also spread in healthcare settings from one person to another through contaminated hands, equipment or surfaces."
Moreover, the CDC also mentioned growing concerns over so-called carbapenem-resistant P. aeruginosa.
"Some Pseudomonas [bacteria] can produce enzymes called carbapenemases that break down antibiotics, including carbapenems, making the drugs ineffective," the federal agency said. "Carbapenem antibiotics are typically reserved to treat multidrug-resistant bacterial infections, so when bacteria develop resistance to them, treatment options can be extremely limited."
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