Consumer-products giant Procter & Gamble is recalling 1-liter bottles of its signature Scope mouthwash due to concerns that some of the bottles lack child-resistant caps and may not be safely used in households with young children.
The 35,000 bottles affected by the recall feature the brand's Original Mint and Peppermint flavors and were sold at drug stores, grocery stores and other retailers in the U.S. and Canada between January and June 2010. They have the number 4 on the bottom, to the right of the recycling symbol. This number indicates that a product may not be child-resistant.
In spite of the symbol, the labels fail to warn, "This Package for Households Without Young Children," as required by the Poison Prevention Packaging Act. The mouthwash contains ethyl alcohol, a toxic ingredient that can cause serious injury or death if ingested by children.
To make sure the cap doesn't work, P&G suggests that consumers try to twist it off without squeezing the tabs on the side. If it opens too easily, it is defective. Those who purchased the mouthwash with the expectation that the bottles are child-resistant should discard it immediately; adult consumers can continue to use it.
While the company is saying the recall is voluntary, it is hard to overlook the fact that it has issued several product recalls as of late. Earlier today, it announced it is pulling 4-Hour Nasal Decongestant VapoSpray off store shelves because of faulty expiration dates. Back in December, it recalled DayQuil capsules for lacking childproof packaging. And just last month, it became embroiled in an aggressive public spat with parents over Pampers' new line of diapers Dry Max, which allegedly caused infants severe burns and rashes.
"Our products are produced under the highest standards and best quality control possible. In fact, it is these high standards that help us to quickly identify any issues and take any steps needed to address problems," said Paul Fox, a spokesman for P&G. "Four billion consumers every day place their trust in our brands and we will never betray that trust."
For a refund or replacement coupon, consumers can call P&G toll-free at 877-340-8825. To report a product-related injury, contact the Consumer Product Safety Commission hotline at 800-638-2772 or log on to www.cpsc.gov.
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