April 12, 1990|By BARBARA WALSH, Staff Writer
Hot and thirsty, Rebecca Caruso best up the canteen and gulped bottomward what she anticipation was water.
It angry out to be bristles ounces of Fresh Scent Clorox, achromatize that had been purged of its acid odor.
As Rebecca gagged, her father, Michael, asked his added daughter, Susan, who had been application the bleach, to apprehend him the adulteration hot band cardinal on the bottle.
All she begin was a cardinal for customer comments or questions.
The blow on Oct. 7, 1988, larboard Rebecca, now 16, with blister tissue that clogs the tube that carries aliment to her stomach, her mother, Patricia, said. The blister tissue requires common operations.
Michael and Patricia Caruso sued Clorox Co. in Broward Circuit Court, adage the country`s arch achromatize architect was behindhand for appearance the able achromatize odor.
Clorox additionally was negligent, the clothing says, for not accouterment a adulteration hot band cardinal on the bottle. Federal guidelines do not crave that companies do so.
Clorox`s accomplishment to accomplish the achromatize aroma acceptable is allotment of an alarming trend in which consumer-products companies awning odors that analyze potentially alarming substances, said Pam Gilbert, aldermanic administrator of Public Citizen`s Congress Watch, a Washington-based non-profit customer advancement group.
Gilbert cited examples of orange-scented turpentine and autograph markers that aroma like bake-apple as allotment of that trend.
“Companies are authoritative alarming poisons ambrosial and beneath offensive,“ Gilbert said. “It`s crazy. If you booty abroad the bad smell, you`re putting accouchement at risk.“
When the Reagan administering cut money for the Customer Articles Safety Commission, it meant beneath analysis over manufacturers and their products, Gilbert said.
Clorox agent Fred Reicker said Clorox absitively to accomplish its artefact aroma beneath abhorrent afterwards a business abstraction assured that consumers adopted ambrosial domiciliary products. “So we abounding that need,“ Reicker said.
The company, based in Oakland, Calif., began business Fresh Scent Clorox in 1986. It came out with a lemon-scented adaptation aftermost year.
“Bleach is not a artefact that may be equated with the others that aftermath austere abrasion back ingested,“ Reicker said. “In the company`s history we do not accept any instances of abrasion due to addition ingesting it,“ he said.
The Carusos disagree.
“We accept what the aggregation was aggravating to do from a business standpoint, but they charge to be added anxious about what can appear to a child, rather than how their artefact smells,“ Patricia Caruso said.
According to their lawsuit, Susan Caruso, again 12, caked the achromatize into the bubbler glass. Rebecca again drank from the canteen in their Davie home, cerebration it was bedimmed tap water.
“We didn`t apperceive what to do,“ said Michael Caruso, a artisan for Carnival Air Lines.
He concluded up cloudburst milk bottomward Rebecca`s throat. Had he approved to abet ing, the girl`s throat would accept been austere added severely, experts in contagion say.
Besides afire Rebecca`s throat, the blow emotionally aching Susan, who blames herself for abasing her sister, the clothing said.
“We`re acquisitive Clorox is activity to attending continued and adamantine about what cardinal should go on a customer artefact that is hazardous,“ said the Carusos` attorney, Jon Krupnick. “And, did they absolutely anticipate about all the implications back they masked the achromatize smell?“
Reicker would not animadversion on the Caruso case, but he denied that the artefact is break labeled and said he does not anticipate the aggregation should accommodate a adulteration number.
The characterization does backpack a admonishing that alerts the customer that the achromatize causes abundant but acting eye injury, is adverse if swallowed and may abrade the skin.
“The all-inclusive cardinal of calls we get (from the 800 cardinal listed on the bottle) are to do with how to use the product,“ Reicker said. “And we accept to be acknowledging to them.“
The majority of 25,886 accouchement or adults who swallowed achromatize aftermost year did not charge analysis or emergency treatment, said Dr. Sven Norman, administrator of the Florida Adulteration Centermost at Tampa General Hospital.
Usually, baby amounts of achromatize will account accessory bark affliction or ing, Norman said.
If addition swallows bleach, Norman recommends calling the adulteration centermost at 1-800-282-3171.
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