I-Team: Stain stick rash

MORTON GROVE, Ill. -- One Chicago-area mother has concerns about the packaging of a chemical product used to remove stains, saying a "Stain Stick" that was mistaken for deodorant gave her autistic son a horrible rash. Now she wants to warn others.

According to the label, the stain stick, a potentially dangerous skin and eye irritant, is meant to be used for stains on clothing. But one young man with autism thought it was something entirely different.

In north suburban Morton Grove, Lawrence "Mackey" Hartnett's underarms have healed. But about three weeks ago they looked red, bumpy and irritated, a scary sight for his mother, Maureen Hartnett.

"He was holding his arms tight and kind of holding it tight and crying and talking insistently," she said.

Her 24-year-old autistic son was in pain and she didn't know why.

"He put his arm up in the air and I went, 'Oh my god,'" she said.

After searching his bedroom she discovered something suspicious, a Resolve Spray and Wash Stain Stick.

She says it's usually kept in the laundry room, but its updated packaging resembles a stick of deodorant, Mackey was using it as such for three days.

"I said 'What is this?' He said 'odarant.' I said, 'No Mackey that is not deodorant.'"

Hartnett rushed her son to the hospital because, according to the manufacturer, it's a "hazardous chemical" and can be dangerous. Doctors said Mackey suffered from contact dermatitis. He was given Benadryl and an anti-bacterial ointment.

Hartnett says "RB," the company which owns Resolve called her back to check on her son's condition, but she wants them to also re-evaluate it's packaging of the roll-on stick.

"If something looks like deodorant, smells like deodorant and sitting on your dresser, anyone can use it," she said.

It doesn't look like Resolve has plans to make changes but in a statement RB acknowledged the specific incident, saying, "the safety and satisfaction of our consumers is our utmost priority. Each of RB's products goes through a rigorous testing process. We take special care, including on this product, to ensure all labels contain the appropriate use and precautionary advisories."

But Harnett worries that children, the elderly or others with disabilities could make the same mistake as her son.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission says it's not taking any action, saying a two-year search shows no official complaints about any stain stick removers.

There are other products that also look like deodorant. The agency says most laundry cleaners are not required to be in special, child-resistant packaging. So consumers need to take precaution.

Many laundry cleaners are not required to be in special, child-resistant packaging. To prevent unintentional exposure, CPSC does recommend the following tips:

1. First. Always use and re-seal child safety caps.
2. Next. Lock up poisons and medicines up and keep them out of a child's sight and reach.
3. Lastly. Keep the Poison Help hotline number 1-800-222-1222 nearby. Call your local poison center in case of poison emergency.
4. More info: http://www.cpsc.gov/en/Safety-Education/Safety-Education-Centers/Poison-Prevention-Information-Center/