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Home spray sold at Walmart recalled after reports of deaths, illness

The sense of smell can trigger memories, emotions or creativity. That is because it is linked to the same part of the brain as memory.

So, it stands to reason that most people enjoy a sweet or welcoming smell in their homes. There are several methods for this, like burning incense, air fresheners, or aromatherapy room sprays. Tap or click here for 10 handy products to freshen up your home and make gross household chores easier.

If you use the latter, you need to take caution. A specific brand infused with essential oils has been recalled and linked to two deaths.

Here’s the backstory

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) conducted tests on several Better Homes & Gardens aromatherapy room sprays, and the results weren’t good — leading to a nationwide recall. The six different spray scents contained the rare and dangerous Burkholderia pseudomallei bacteria.

The recall spans the following Better Homes & Gardens-branded Essential Oil Infused Aromatherapy Room Spray with Gemstones products:

  • Lavender & Chamomile
  • Lemon and Mandarin
  • Lavender
  • Peppermint
  • Lime & Eucalyptus
  • Sandalwood and Vanilla

According to the CDC, the dangerous bacteria can cause Melioidosis, which is difficult to diagnose and can be fatal. Also known as Whitmore’s disease, the infection can affect both people and animals. After inhalation, symptoms can include coughing, headaches, chest pains, high fever, and appetite loss.

This is not a complete list of symptoms. You should always check with a medical professional if you are concerned about a possible health condition.

The CDC has investigated “a cluster of four confirmed cases of Melioidosis including two deaths in the U.S.” The products were made in India and sold at Walmart stores across the U.S. from February 2021 through October 2021 for about $4.

What to do next

Walmart has stopped selling the recalled sprays, but stop using them immediately if you have some in your home! The recall notice from the Consumer Product Safety Commission states that you shouldn’t even open the bottle.

Here are suggestions from the CDC if you have the spray in your home:

  • Stop using these products immediately. Do not open the bottle. Do not throw away or dispose of the bottle in the regular trash.
  • Disposing of the tainted spray. Double bag the bottle in clean, clear zip-top bags and place in a small cardboard box. Return the bagged and boxed product to a Walmart store.
  • Sanitize linens. Wash sheets or linens that the product may have been sprayed on using regular laundry detergent and dry thoroughly in a hot dryer; bleach can be used if desired.
  • Cleaning your home. Wipe down counters and surfaces that might have the spray on them with undiluted Pine-Sol or similar disinfectant.
  • Be cautious. Limit how much you handle the spray bottle and wash your hands thoroughly after touching the bottle or linens. If you used gloves, wash your hands afterward.
  • Seek medical attention. If you have used the product within the past 21 days and have fever or other melioidosis symptoms, seek medical attention and tell your doctor you were exposed to the spray. If you do not have symptoms but were exposed to the product in the last seven days, your doctor may recommend that you get antibiotics (post-exposure prophylaxis) to prevent infection.

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