Clorox Recalls Scented Pine-Sol for Containing Harmful Bacteria
On October 25, Clorox recalled many of their scented multi-surface Pine-Sol ® cleaners over concerns that bottles might contain Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a harmful bacterium that causes infections of the blood and lungs. Normally, it is found in soil or water out in the environment, but it also is a common Healthcare-Associated Infection (HAI) and can be a risk to immunocompromised people. Even more concerning, according to the CDC, this bacterium has a reputation of becoming resistant to antibiotic treatment making it even more difficult to treat.
What makes this recall by Clorox so particularly interesting and so totally confusing to the consumer is that Clorox offers 9 variations of their “Pine Sol multi-surface cleaners”: Original Pine, Old Formula Original Pine, Lemon Fresh, Pro Lemon Fresh, Lavender Clean, Pro Lavender Clean, Sparkling Wave, Pro Sparkling Wave, and Pro Orange Energy. All these products are labeled as “multi-surface cleaners” that can be diluted if used for cleaning, yet the Original Pine products are advertised as “cleaners and disinfectants” and are promoted as being 99.9% effective against germs (including CoVid-19 causing viruses) if used at full strength. The Original Pine product is also included on EPA’s N List with a 10-minute dwell time.
The bottom line is that these Pine-Sol products are not just variations of the same “Original Pine” product with different scents added, but, in fact, different products with different formulations. That is why these seven cleaners, that do not kill germs, can be contaminated by bacteria and are being recalled by Clorox. No wonder the average consumer is confused and misinformed about chemical cleaning products and how to use them effectively.
Thinking Beyond Chemicals
The other important fact highlighted by this recall is the very idea that bacteria can live (and thrive) in the chemicals used in many of today’s cleaners. How many of you are able or willing to do a proper rinse after cleaning to remove all chemical residue? Without the rinse, the chemical residue provides food and shelter for bacteria to live and thrive, whether on your counters, floors, or cleaning sponges. We know that in many cases, it is realistically impossible or too labor intensive to rinse adequately, therefore, the best approach is to clean, where possible, without chemicals.
Aside from the recall, Pine-Sol ® products are made from harmful chemicals that can be irritating to the skin, damaging to the eyes, and dangerous to breath in without proper PPE. So, even without the concern of harmful bacteria, Pine-Sol ® can be harmful to your health and indoor environments.
Here at Green Science Solutions, we don’t want our customers to worry if their cleaning products are safe to use. Our products are chemical free, safe to use without PPE, and environmentally friendly. We use solutions like aqueous ozone, air purification, and UV lights to keep indoor environments safe. Our products are tough on pathogens, and safe on people the way it should be.
Do You Use Pine-Sol?
The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has recommended that consumers stop using Pine-Sol® Scented Multi-Surface cleaners immediately, take pictures of the UPC/date codes, and request a full refund from the manufacturer. As of writing this, Clorox has not yet issued an explanation or cause of the contamination.