Benzene in Deodorant

Beasley Allen is filing lawsuits on behalf of consumers diagnosed with certain cancers linked to the use of aerosol antiperspirants. These antiperspirants were made by Procter & Gamble, Unilever, and other companies. They were found to contain benzene, which is known to cause cancer.

Benzene | Benzene in Sunscreen | Environmental Benzene

Is there Benzene in Deodorant?

In November 2021, Valisure, an independent laboratory, tested 108 body sprays from 30 different brands and found more than half contained benzene. Benzene exposure is linked to certain cancers, including leukemia and lymphoma.

Several of the aerosol products tested had levels of benzene at or above 2 parts per million (ppm)—the limit the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advises manufacturers not to exceed in consumer drugs or products due to health concerns.

The most highly contaminated products included two popular Procter & Gamble (P&G) brands—Old Spice and Secret:

  • Two lots of Old Spice Pure Sport antiperspirant (Lots 11671458SQ and 11671458SB; UPC 012044001912) contained 17.7 and 17.4 average ppm, respectively—nearly nine times the FDA’s limit.
  • P&G’s Secret Powder Fresh 24-Hour Aerosol (Lots 11721458SG and 11701458SH; UPC 037000711087) contained about 16 average ppm.

In total, 24 lots of aerosol sprays from 8 different brands had levels of benzene above 2 ppm, 14 lots from 8 brands contained detectable amounts of benzene between 0.20 to 1.89 ppm, and 21 lots from 8 brands included detectable benzene at less than 0.1 ppm.

The presence of benzene in deodorants is concerning. Several studies have shown that the chemicals in skincare products can be found in high levels in the bloodstream after they are applied to the skin.

Valisure filed a Citizen Petition with the FDA alerting the agency to its test results and called for a recall of all the deodorant sprays containing benzene to limit consumers’ exposure to benzene.

What causes Benzene in Deodorant?

It’s unclear what may be causing the aerosol body sprays to become contaminated with benzene. Valisure Chief Executive Officer David Light told MedPage Today that it may be due to “quality problems starting at the raw materials.”

Kate DiCarlo, senior director of communications for the Personal Care Portfolio of P&G, said  that it came from the propellant that sprays the product out of the can. “Due to the highly specialized nature of aerosol products, we use a manufacturing partner to produce these products,” Dicarlo said. “That manufacturing partner identified an issue with their propellant supply and is implementing additional measures to address the issue identified in the investigation.”

Which Deodorants Have Benzene?

Certain lots of the following deodorant and antiperspirant brands were found to contain unsafe levels of benzene above 2.00 ppm:

  • Old Spice
  • Secret
  • Tag
  • Sure
  • Equate
  • Right Guard
  • Brut

Certain lots from the following brands were found to contain levels of benzene at 0.10 to 2 ppm:

  • Summer’s Eve
  • Secret
  • Right Guard
  • Suave
  • Power Stick
  • Soft & Dri
  • Victoria’s Secret

Certain lots from the following brands were found to contain levels of benzene below 0.10 ppm:

  • Arrid
  • Calvin Klein
  • Land of the Free
  • Bath & Body Works
  • Dove
  • Degree
  • Nautica
  • Axe

A complete list of aerosol spray antiperspirant products tested by Valisure and their benzene levels can be found here on the company’s Citizen Petition, beginning on page 12.

Which Deodorants Were Recalled?

Following Valisure’s announcement, only two companies issued recalls for spray antiperspirants due to the presence of benzene:

On Nov. 23, 2021, P&G recalled the following Old Spice and Secret aerosol spray antiperspirants and Old Spice Below Deck aerosol spray products:

UPCDescription
012044001912Old Spice High Endurance AP Spray Pure Sport 12/6oz
012044044759Old Spice Hardest Working Collection Inv Spray Stronger Swagger 3.8oz
037000729747Old Spice Hardest Working Collection Inv Spray Pure Sport Plus 12/3.8oz
037000730347Old Spice Hardest Working Collection Inv Spray Stronger Swagger 12/3.8oz
037000749479Old Spice Hardest Working Collection Inv Spray Ult Captain 12/3.8oz
037000695714Old Spice Below Deck Powder Spray Unscented 12/4.9oz
037000695707Old Spice Below Deck Powder Spray Fresh Air 12/4.9oz
037000586906Secret Aerosol Powder Fresh Twin Pack
037000711087Secret Aerosol Powder Fresh 12/6OZ
037000711094Secret Aerosol Powder Fresh 12/4OZ
037000723721Secret Fresh Collection Inv Spray Waterlily 3.8oz
037000729860Secret Fresh Collection Inv Spray Lavender 12/3.8oz
037000729914Secret Fresh Collection Inv Spray Water Lily 12/3.8oz
037000729921Secret Fresh Collection Inv Spray Light Essentials 12/3.8oz
037000798842Secret Fresh Collection Inv Spray Rose 12/3.8oz
037000747642Secret Outlast Inv Spray Completely Clean 12/3.8oz
037000747727Secret Outlast Inv Spray Protecting Powder 12/3.8oz
012044048535Old Spice Pure Sport 2021 Gift Set

On April 1, 2022, Unilever issued a recall of two Suave aerosol antiperspirant products:

UPCDescriptionSize
079400751508; 079400784902Suave 24-Hour Protection Aerosol Antiperspirant Powder4 oz.;
6 oz.
079400785503Suave 24-Hour Protection Aerosol Antiperspirant Fresh6 oz.

* Unilever discontinued the Suave 24-Hour Protection Aerosol Antiperspirant product line in October 2021 for business reasons.

Benzene in Deodorant Lawsuits

On May 1, 2022, a proposed class of consumers filed suit against P&G in Ohio federal court. The consumers claim that P&G misled them about the safety of its deodorant body spray products. The class seeks to represent a nationwide class as well as subclasses for Illinois, Arizona, California, and Florida residents who bought the tainted products.

Users of benzene-containing deodorants who developed cancer, especially leukemia and lymphoma, after regular use of the tainted products, are also pursuing lawsuits.

Benzene in Deodorant Lawyers

High levels of benzene—a known carcinogen—have been detected in several brands and batches of popular body sprays and antiperspirants. Benzene is a colorless or light-yellow liquid chemical used in a variety of industrial and household products. But it is dangerous. Benzene exposure is linked to cancer and other illnesses.

Our firm has the resources to represent clients throughout the country while never losing sight of the individual. If you or a loved one have regularly used one of the deodorants, antiperspirants or body sprays recalled due to the presence of benzene and been diagnosed with cancer such as leukemia or lymphoma, we can help.

Timeline of Benzene in Deodorant

Late 2020 Valisure expands its testing

Valisure expands its testing capabilities to include analysis for benzene.

Nov. 4, 2021 Benzene detected – Deodorants

Benzene detected in aerosol deodorants. (Source: Valisure)

Nov. 23, 2021 Recall

Certain Old Spice and Secret aerosol deodorants recalled. (Source: FDA)

Apr. 1, 2022 Recall

Two Suave aerosol antiperspirant products recalled. (Source: FDA)

May, 1, 2022 P&G Sued

A proposed class of buyers sues Procter & Gamble in Ohio federal court over benzene in deodorant. (Source: Law360)

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