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Deodorant Recall: Potential Cancer Risk in Old Spice and Secret Spray-On Products

Riddle Brantley LLP   |  December 3, 2021   |  

Popular brands of deodorant have been recalled due to potential cancer risk after an independent lab discovered the presence of benzene — a known cancer-causing chemical — in certain Old Spice and Secret spray-on deodorants. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced the voluntary deodorant recall by Proctor & Gamble in an announcement in late November 2021.

The discovery of benzene in deodorants follows similar findings of the dangerous chemical in many popular sunscreens, including Neutrogena and Aveeno. Manufacturers are facing sunscreen lawsuits as a result, and litigation against Proctor & Gamble may be in the works. The deodorant recall makes the probability of potential deodorant lawsuits more likely.

According to a statement by Valisure CEO and researcher David Light:

““The detection of high levels of benzene in body sprays is cause for significant concern … [this is part of] a concerning trend of carcinogen contamination in consumer healthcare products.”

Benzene in Deodorant and Cancer Risk

Secret and Old Spice Deodorant Recall and Cancer RiskThe deodorant recall is so alarming because benzene is a known carcinogen, meaning that it can cause cancer in humans. 

Benzene is classified as a carcinogen by many scientific agencies, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the FDA.

According to the FDA:

“Benzene is classified as a human carcinogen. Exposure to benzene … can result in cancers including leukemia and blood cancer of the bone marrow and blood disorders which can be life-threatening.”

Cancers Potentially Caused by Benzene

Many different types of cancer have been linked to benzene exposure, including:

The World Health Organization (WHO) calls exposure to benzene (the chemical found in certain Old Spice and Secret spray-on deodorants and anti-perspirants) “a major public health concern.”

The FDA also noted that Proctor & Gamble had not yet been made aware of any adverse effects associated with the benzene-contaminated products, but we will be monitoring the situation closely.

Our firm is actively investigating cancer claims related to the deodorant recall and the discovery of benzene in certain Old Spice and Secret spray-on deodorants. Please stay tuned to our website for more information as this situation develops.

What Brands of Deodorant Have Been Recalled?

Cancer-causing benzene was found in more than half of 108 deodorant and anti-perspirant sprays tested by Valisure, and independent lab focused on consumer product safety. According to Valisure, some of these deodorants contained “up to nine times the conditionally restricted FDA concentration limit” for benzene, a chemical known to cause cancer.

So far, deodorants recalled for benzene contamination are limited to spray-on products, not solid or gel-based deodorants or anti-perspirants.

Products included in the initial Old Spice and Secret deodorant recall include:

  • Old Spice High Endurance AP Spray Pure Sport 12/6oz
  • Old Spice Hardest Working Collection Inv Spray Stronger Swagger 3.8oz
  • Old Spice Hardest Working Collection Inv Spray Pure Sport Plus 12/3.8oz
  • Old Spice Hardest Working Collection Inv Spray Ult Captain 12/3.8oz
  • Old Spice Below Deck Powder Spray Unscented 12/4.9oz
  • Old Spice Below Deck Powder Spray Fresh Air 12/4.9oz
  • Secret Aerosol Powder Fresh Twin Pack
  • Secret Aerosol Powder Fresh 12/6oz
  • Secret Aerosol Powder Fresh 12/4oz
  • Secret Fresh Collection Inv Spray Waterlily 3.8oz
  • Secret Fresh Collection Inv Spray Lavender 12/3.8oz
  • Secret Fresh Collection Inv Spray Light Essentials 12/3.8oz
  • Secret Fresh Collection Inv Spray Rose 12/3.8oz
  • Secret Outlast Inv Spray Completely Clean 12/3.8oz
  • Secret Outlast Inv Spray Protecting Powder 12/3.8oz
  • Old Spice Pure Sport 2021 Gift Set

For more information on the Old Spice and Secret deodorant recall, please visit the FDA deodorant recall page.

Proctor & Gamble encourage consumers who have used these products to visit the Old Spice and/or Secret websites for more information about the deodorant recall. The company has also set up a hotline for affected consumers at 1-888-339-7689.

“I Using Old Spice or Secret Deodorant. What Can I Do?”

If you are using one of the recalled Old Spice or Secret deodorants, Proctor & Gamble and the FDA advise that “consumers stop using and appropriately discard the affected aerosol spray products.” If you have experienced any problems that may have been caused by benzene-contaminated deodorant or anti-perspirant, contact your physician immediately.

Consumers with questions about the recall may call Proctor & Gamble’s deodorant recall hotline at 1-888-339-7689.

“I Used Recalled Old Spice or Secret Deodorant and Later Developed Cancer. Do I Have Legal Options?”

Benzene in Deodorant and Cancer Risk - Riddle & BrantleyIf you used a recalled Old Spice or Secret spray-on deodorant or anti-perspirant and were later diagnosed with cancer, you may be entitled to compensation in a future deodorant lawsuit or cancer claim. A deodorant class action lawsuit has also been filed alleging that Proctor & Gamble failed to warn consumers about benzene contamination and potential cancer risk.

It is important to note that Proctor & Gamble strongly denies any liability or wrongdoing associated with the Old Spice and Secret deodorant recalls. The company called the decision to recall the benzene-containing deodorants as one made out of “an abundance of caution.”

Our firm is actively investigating these cases and may engage in litigation in the near future. Please stay tuned to our website for the latest information on this evolving situation.