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Posted October 23, 2021

Walmart Recalls Essential Oil Sprays Linked to Two Deaths

On Friday, October 22, Walmart issued a recall of six scented Better Homes and Gardens Essential Oil Infused Aromatherapy Room Sprays with Gemstones. The sprays have been linked to four cases of melioidosis, a rare bacterial infection that can be fatal. The CDC, which is currently investigating the cases, has warned consumers who have one of these sprays to immediately stop using them.

The four cases of melioidosis were reported in Georgia, Kansas, Texas, and Minnesota, and in two of these cases, the patients died. Although the source of the four reported infections has not been confirmed, CDC testing of a bottle of the aromatherapy spray found in the home of the patient in Georgia found it to be contaminated with Burkholderia pseudomallei, the bacteria that causes melioidosis. Symptoms of melioidosis include headache, joint pain, abdominal pain, fever, cough, difficulty breathing, and seizure.

The recalled sprays, which are made in India, were sold on Walmart's website and approximately 55 Walmart retail stores between February and October 21, 2021. Product photos are available on the U.S. Consumer Safety Commission website. The sprays are packaged in 5 oz. glass bottles with a pump spray and can be identified by the following:
  • Better Homes and Gardens (BHG) Gem Room Spray Lavender & Chamomile, Product number: 84140411420
  • Better Homes and Gardens (BHG) Gem Room Spray Lemon and Mandarin, Product number: 84140411421
  • Better Homes and Gardens (BHG) Gem Room Spray Lavender, Product number: 84140411422
  • Better Homes and Gardens (BHG) Gem Room Spray Peppermint, Product number: 84140411423
  • Better Homes and Gardens (BHG) Gem Room Spray Lime & Eucalyptus, Product number: 84140411424
  • Better Homes and Gardens (BHG) Gem Room Spray Sandalwood and Vanilla, Product number: 84140411425
In a news release about the recall, the CDC warned that consumers who have one of the recalled sprays not to open the bottle, and not to throw it away in the regular trash. The agency recommended double-bagging the bottle in clean, clear, zip-top bags, placing the bags in a small cardboard box, and then returning to a Walmart store. It also advised wiping down counters or surfaces that might have the spray on them with undiluted Pine-Sol or similar disinfectant, and washing any sheets or linens that the product may have been sprayed on, using normal detergent, and dried completely in a hot dryer.

For more information about this recall, use the links below.

Walmart Recalls Better Homes and Gardens Essential Oil Infused Aromatherapy Room Spray with Gemstones Due to Rare and Dangerous Bacteria; Two Deaths Investigated

CDC Identifies Rare Bacteria in Aromatherapy Product