On July 4, Kanebo recalled 4.36 million items containing a substance the company developed called 4HPB, or Rhododenol, which is used in 54 different products sold by the company in Asia and the UK. The recalled products comprise roughly $60 million in sales and include Japan's No.2 skin-whitening brand, Kanebo Blanchir.
Kanebo, which has pledged to cover all related medical expenses, said it has yet to calculate what the total impact will likely be in terms of fallen sales and compensation costs. A team of dermatologists is trying to figure out how the 4HPB substance might be causing the problems. Kanebo has ruled out contaminants and said that no changes have been made to the key ingredient.
A list of products that contain 4HPB can be found at www.kanebo.com.