Old Spice Deodorant Contains High Levels of Chemical Known to Cause Leukemia: Valisure
Valisure, the same pharmacy that found cancer-causing chemicals in popular sunscreen sprays, hand sanitizers and other products, now indicates it has identified dangerous levels of benzene in Old Spice products and antiperspirant body sprays that may cause leukemia and other forms of cancer.
In a press release  issued on Nov. 4, 2022, Valisure announced it had found high levels of benzene in numerous brands of body spray and deodorant spray products, including Old Spice, Secret, Suave, Tag and others.
As a result of the findings, Valisure filed a petition with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration , calling for Old Spice deodorant and body spray to be recalled.
"We go to great lengths to ensure our products are safe to use, and tens of millions of men use this product with confidence and without incident every year," said Old Spice spokesman Damon James. "A small number of men may experience irritation due to alcohol sensitivity, a common ingredient used across virtually all deodorant products. Men who experience adverse reactions from using spray deodorants should try using antiperspirants."
Which Antiperspirants Have Been Found to Contain Benzene?
- Old Spice
- Walmart’s Equate
- Right Guard
- Summer’s Eve
- Power Stick
- Soft & Dri
- Victoria’s Secret
- And more
What is Benzene?
Benzene is a chemical compound that occurs naturally in the environment and can be manufactured synthetically as well, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. This sweet-smelling chemical compound is colorless or slightly tinged yellow in its liquid form and is extremely flammable.
Considered an aromatic hydrocarbon, benzene products are toxic substances that have been found to cause a wide variety of adverse side effects and complications in individuals that have been exposed to high concentrations of the chemicals for long periods of time.
Read more: Benzene Exposure Lawsuit Information
Benzene Side Effects
Harmful short-term exposure to benzene typically occurs in one of three ways. Either the individual has breathed in high concentrations of benzene toxic substances, high levels of benzene have been absorbed through the skin, or benzene has contaminated food that the individual has eaten.
Serious side effects of benzene exposure include:
- Leukemia and Lymphoma
- Blood cancers of the bone marrow
- Blood disorders
- Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML)
- Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia (CML)
- Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia (ALL)
- Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL)
- Hairy Cell Leukemia (HCL)
- Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma
- Multiple Myeloma
- Myelodysplastic Syndrome (MDL)
- Myelofibrosis and Myeloid Metaplasia
- Aplastic Anemia
- Thrombocytopenic Purpura
- Chemical burns
- Hair loss
- Skin reactions
- Skin irritation
- And more
Other Products Recalled for Benzene Contamination
The antiperspirant sprays are just the latest in a string of aerosol products found to contain benzene, including sunscreens and antifungals. Johnson & Johnson recently issued a nationwide recall for Neutrogena and Aveeno brand aerosol sunscreen sprays. Beiersdorf AG recalled certain Coppertone sunscreen sprays in September 2022. A month later, Bayer AG pulled Lotrimin and Tinactin sprays used for athlete’s foot and jock itch after tests indicated that the products contained benzene.
Other benzene lawsuits:
- Chicago Benzene Lawsuit
- St. Louis Benzene Lawsuit
- Philadelphia Benzene Lawsuit
- Las Vegas Benzene Lawsuit
FDA Guidance on Benzene Levels
The FDA doesn’t have a clear benzene threshold in products. Its guidance for drugs is that benzene levels can reach up to 2 parts per million only if its use in manufacturing is unavoidable for a product that represents a significant therapeutic advance. Valisure has asked the FDA to set clear benzene guidance.
Valisure found benzene levels of tens of millions in the antiperspirant and deodorant sprays. Yale University’s Chemical and Biophysical Instrumentation Center confirmed the presence of benzene in a sampling of the sprays through separate tests.
Artnaturals contained the highest levels of benzene Valisure found in hand sanitizers. The FDA said last month it tested Artnaturals hand sanitizers and also found benzene as well as other contaminants.
The agency advised consumers in early October not to use any Artnaturals products. The company later announced a limited recall of hand sanitizers.
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