McNeil Consumer Healthcare is voluntarily recalling certain lots of products, including Tylenol, Benadryl, Motrin and Rolaids, in the Americas, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and Fiji. A full rundown of the affected products can be found here.
The recall follows an investigation of reports from consumer of an unusual moldy, musty, or mildew-like odor that — in a small number of cases — was associated with temporary and non-serious gastrointestinal events. These include nausea, stomach pain, vomiting, or diarrhea. This precautionary action is voluntary and has been taken in consultation with the FDA.
Based on this investigation, McNeil Consumer Healthcare has determined that the reported uncharacteristic smell is caused by the presence of trace amounts of a chemical called 2,4,6-tribromoanisole (TBA). This can result from the breakdown of a chemical that is sometimes applied to wood that is used to build wood pallets that transport and store product packaging materials.
The health effects of this chemical have not been well studied but no serious events have been documented in the medical literature. A small number of the product lots being recalled were associated with the complaints of an unusual moldy, musty, or mildew-like odor, and some of these lots were found to contain trace amounts of TBA.