One of the reasons companies issue product recalls is potential contamination with benzene. The substance is carcinogenic, so exposure to abnormal levels is risky for consumers. We saw an Odor-Eaters spray recall a few days ago after the manufacturer detected benzene contamination. And now, there’s a significant Old Spice and Secret deodorant recall due to the possible presence of benzene.
The Secret deodorant and Old Spice recall
Procter & Gamble (P&G) announced the recall this week, posting the release on the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) website.
P&G says it’s recalling all lots with expiry through September 2023 of specific Old Spice and Secret aerosol spray antiperspirants and Old Spice Below Deck aerosol spray products. The company detected the presence of benzene in these products, which it sold nationwide in the US.
The company lists several lots included in the recall, from both the Old Spice and Secret brands — check them out at this link. All other Old Spice and Secret antiperspirants that aren’t part of the recall are safe to use.
Why benzene is dangerous
Procter & Gamble explains in the announcement that benzene is a human carcinogen. Exposure to the substance via inhalation, oral ingestion, or through the skin can cause cancers like leukemia, blood cancer of the bone marrow, and blood disorders.
The company says that the levels of benzene in the Old Spice and Secret antiperspirants subject to recall aren’t likely to cause adverse effects:
Based on exposure modeling and the cancer risk assessments published by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) (IRIS database), daily exposure to benzene in the recalled products at the levels detected in our testing would not be expected to cause adverse health consequences. Benzene is ubiquitous in the environment. Humans around the world have daily exposures to it indoors and outdoors from multiple sources. .
P&G notes that it’s recalling the products in the list out of an abundance of caution. Also, the company says it didn’t receive any reports of adverse events.
What you should do about the P&G antiperspirants
Make sure you check this list of Old Spice and Secret deodorants that are included in the P&G recall. If you have any at home, you should return them for a refund or dispose of them. While P&G says the levels of benzene might not be dangerous, you should not continue using the deodorants in the recall.
P&G offers contact information for its Consume Care team in its announcement. Recall information is also available on the product sites for Old Spice and Secret.
If you think you’ve experienced problems after using the products, you should contact your physician. You can also report adverse reactions and quality problems using FDA’s MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program — all the information you need is available at this link.