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Insect Repellent Pulled from Market

April 7, 1990

RACINE, Wis. (AP) _ S.C. Johnson and Son Inc. said it was voluntarily withdrawing its Deep Woods OFF 3/8 insect repellent from retail stores because test animals developed tumors in response to an ingredient.

The withdrawal Friday affects about 150,000 cases of aerosol and pump containers and boxes of towelettes, Johnson spokesman David Coronna said.

A company statement called the withdrawal precautionary, saying it was ″not aware of any reports of adverse human health effects.″

The action does not involve other Johnson repellents.

The company said an ingredient that repels biting flies, R-11 or 2 butylene tetrahydro-2-furaldehyde, showed ″adverse effects to some laboratory animals which were fed high levels of R-11″ in preliminary research.

Preliminary data in one test showed laboratory mice developed a non- malignant tumor, said Roger Grothaus, vice president of scientific support and government affairs for Johnson.

Grothaus said R-11 has been used in Deep Woods OFF 3/8 for 17 years and as a repellent ingredient by other companies for many years. The chemical was being tested for a recertification requirement.

Coronna had no estimate of the cost of the withdrawal. He said there was no immediate decision on whether to provide refunds to customers.

The company said it was providing a toll-free telephone number, 1-800-558-5252, for customer questions starting Monday.