• The recalled products were sold at major retailers and online
  • Lymphoma and leukemia are the cancers most associated with the carcinogen
  • This is the company's second recall since December
  • Affected customers can contact the company for a refund

Some 800,000 units of The Laundress fabric conditioners have been recalled because of concerns about the presence of a carcinogen.

The problem with the recalled fabric conditioners is that they may contain a chemical impurity, specifically ethylene oxide, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).

Ethylene oxide is a colorless gas that has a sweet odor, noted the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Considered a carcinogen, it is typically used to produce other chemicals, with the main route of human exposure being ingestion or inhalation through "occupational, consumer, or environmental exposure."

It may have adverse health effects "if there is significant and direct long-term exposure," the CPSC warned.

"Lymphoma and leukemia are the cancers most frequently reported to be associated with occupational exposure to ethylene oxide," said the NIH. "Stomach and breast cancers may also be associated with ethylene oxide exposure."

The company clarified that ethylene oxide was not "intentionally added." It may have been in the raw materials used to make the fabric conditioners.

There have been no reports of incidents related to the product so far.

The recall affects The Laundress Fabric Baby Conditioner 16-oz and the Fabric Conditioner Crate & Barrel 33-oz, among others. The full list is available here. All of the affected products have "The Laundress - New York" printed at the top of the label.

They were sold at various stores, including Bloomingdale's, Saks Fifth Avenue, Target, The Container Store, Nordstrom and other retailers nationwide. They were also sold online through the company website, and others.

Some 800,000 units were included in the current recall. An additional 13,000 units sold in Canada were also recalled.

Customers who have the recalled products should stop using them and contact the company to request a refund. They can do so via the company's recall website or by calling 1-800-681-1915 for more information.

"Consumers who have previously requested a refund for these products in response to The Laundress' December 2022 recall and reimbursement program should not subamit a new request," the announcement read.

The company issued another recall in December, which involved eight million units of laundry and household cleaning products. It was due to the potential presence of bacteria, including Burkholderia cepacia and certain Pseudomonas species. It withdrew additional The Laundress products later that month. The company clarified that the current issue and the bacterial contamination are "two separate and unrelated issues."

"All fabric conditioners included in this recall were already covered by our previous market actions in December 2022," the company noted, adding that the 2023 recall "formalizes" the fabric conditioner withdrawal initiated on Dec. 27.

Customers can find detailed instructions about how to get a refund on the company's recall page. They should not empty the product prior to disposal. Instead, they should close the lid tight and throw it in the household trash.

"We again deeply apologize for this situation and look forward to returning soon with a renewed commitment to the highest standards of product safety and quality," said The Laundress.

CPSC Chair Richard Trumka urged consumers to stop using the recalled products "immediately," calling the issuances "concerning."

"Manufacturers must do more to ensure that their products are safe, and CPSC must do its part to hold them accountable," Trumka said in a statement. " CPSC works every day to ensure that American consumers are safe from unreasonable risks posed by household products."