The Laundress issues product safety notice due to “opportunistic” bacterial presence
22 Nov 2022 --- Unilever-owned home care brand, The Laundress, has published a safety notice to inform consumers to “immediately stop using” all its products due to the potential presence of elevated levels of bacteria presenting a safety concern.
“The Laundress is working with the US Consumer Product Safety Commission on this issue, and in the meantime, decided it would be best to issue a stop-sale notice to our retailers and wholesalers and a safety notice to our consumers,” the brand tells PersonalCareInsights.
“At this time, we do not have more information to provide, but we will continue to share more information with our community as soon as we are able to do so.”
Unilever acquired The Laundress in 2019. However, the brand clarified that it “operates as an independent brand and has its third-party supplier network in the US.”
Elevated level of bacteria
The Laundress informed consumers that the bacteria identified in product testing are “opportunistic” pathogens, including Pseudomonas, which occur naturally in water and soil. However, these types of bacteria could present a risk of infection at the levels detected.
The brand continues to investigate the scope of the products affected and has, in the meantime, advised consumers to stop using all products as an “abundance of caution.”
Explaining health risks posed by the products, The Laundress says that people with a healthy immune system are usually not affected by these bacteria.
“People with weakened immune systems or external medical devices exposed to Pseudomonas face a risk of serious infection that may require medical treatment. The bacteria can enter the body if inhaled, through the eyes, or a break in the skin,” warns the brand.
Meanwhile, consumers took to social media to share their experience of using the affected products and expressed concerns over impacted products from January 2021 until November 2022.
The Laundress experience?
The brand has advised consumers to contact a healthcare professional in case of any questions about their health.
At the time of acquisition, Kees Kruythoff, president of Unilever’s Home Care business, said: “With its line of beautifully crafted eco-friendly products and fast-growing following in the US and China, particularly among millennials, The Laundress is a strong addition to our portfolio of leading Home Care brands.”
“Its distribution network across specialty retailers, direct-to-consumer and e-commerce, combined with Unilever’s global reach, creates an ideal launch pad toward giving more people around the world the distinct ‘The Laundress’ experience.”
On the safety notice issued on its website, The Laundress suggests that immunocompromised users or anyone who has a break in their skin rewash their clothes “using another suitable laundry detergent.”
“We are undertaking decisive steps with our suppliers to ensure production processes meet our safety and quality standards,” the laundry brand concludes.
By Radhika Sikaria
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