More Than 30 Different Brands of Spray Deodorant Were Flagged for Having Cancer-Causing Chemicals

If you’re someone who loves a spray deodorant, you might want to take a minute to check out your medicine cabinet and double-check your go-to brand. A citizen’s petition filed with the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Wednesday reported that a number of batches of spray antiperspirant and deodorants from 30 different brands contained benzene — a chemical the agency cites as a “class one solvent” with “unacceptable toxicity” and therefore shouldn’t be used in drug substances or consumer products.

Per the petition, Valisure (an independent lab that filed the petition) found that 59 antiperspirant and deodorant body spray products were found to contain the harmful ingredient after they tested 108 unique batches from 30 different brands. A colorless or light-yellow chemical that is liquid at room temperature, Benzene is typically used as a solvent and is a documented carcinogen in humans. As Valisure notes, it can be found in cigarette smoke, gasoline, glue, adhesives, cleaning products and paint strippers and is known to contaminate petroleum products.

“It is, unfortunately, apparent that benzene contamination is a widespread and concerning issue in the American consumer product supply chain and underscores the critical need for independent testing,” states David Light. “The global supply chain is incredibly complex and has many vulnerabilities. We believe some of these contamination issues, like benzene in consumer products, might be traced all the way back to the raw materials supplied to manufacturers. Increased vigilance and quality assurance is needed more than ever.”

While all the brands studied by Valisure have yet to be confirmed as of writing, Proctor & Gamble voluntarily recalled 17 of their products from Old Spice and Secret, per a press release “in an abundance of caution.”  CNN also notes that  brands including batches of Tag, Sure, Equate, Suave, Right Guard and Brut had levels of benzene that were at or above 2 parts per million have yet to be recalled.

The current products that have been recalled include:

  • Old Spice High Endurance AP Spray Pure Sport
  • Old Spice Hardest Working Collection Invisible Spray Stronger Swagger
  • Old Spice Hardest Working Collection Invisible Spray Pure Sport Plus
  • Old Spice Hardest Working Collection Invisible Spray Stronger Swagger
  • Old Spice Hardest Working Collection Invisible Spray Ultimate Captain
  • Old Spice Below Deck Powder Spray Unscented
  • Old Spice Below Deck Powder Spray Fresh Air
  • Secret Aerosol Powder Fresh Twin Pack
  • Secret Aerosol Powder Fresh
  • Secret Aerosol Powder Fresh
  • Secret Fresh Collection Invisible Spray Waterlily
  • Secret Fresh Collection Invisible Spray Lavender
  • Secret Fresh Collection Invisible Spray Light Essentials
  • Secret Fresh Collection Invisible Spray Rose
  • Secret Outlast Invisible Spray Completely Clean
  • Secret Outlast Invisible Spray Protecting Powder
  • Old Spice Pure Sport 2021 Gift Set

Light adds that the the detection these high levels in body sprays “is cause for significant concern” as these are products that adults and teens

“The detection of high levels of benzene in body sprays is cause for significant concern since these products are often used daily, by both adults and adolescents,” Light said. “These findings build upon our now validated discovery of benzene in sunscreens, after-sun care products, and hand sanitizers that have already been followed by national recalls earlier this year. With this latest development, we have identified a concerning trend of carcinogen contamination in consumer healthcare products.”

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