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Benzene in Secret, Old Spice Aerosol Antiperspirants and Deodorants Class Action

This class action takes issue with Secret and Old Spice spray antiperspirants and deodorants, made by the Procter & Gamble Company (P&G). The complaint alleges that the products contain benzene, which the complaint calls “a known human carcinogen that offers no therapeutic deodorant or antiperspirant benefit…”

The Nationwide Class for this action is all persons in the US who bought the products within the applicable statutes of limitations. A South Carolina Subclass has also been defined for those in the above class in South Carolina. The products at issue include the following:

  • Secret spray antiperspirants, including Powder Fresh and Secret Cool Light & Airy Smooth Feel antiperspirants
  • Old Spice spray deodorants and antiperspirants, including Pure Sport antiperspirant, Below Deck Powder spray deodorant, and Sweat Defense Stronger Swagger antiperspirant

Benzene is has long been considered a human carcinogen. The complaint alleges that it has other harmful effects as well: “Long-term exposure to this chemical causes harmful effects on the bone marrow, a decrease in red blood cells leading to anemia, and excessive bleeding that can affect the immune system, leading to an increased chance of infection.”

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates antiperspirants as over-the-counter drugs. The complaint quotes it as saying that, since there is no safe level of benzene, it “should not be employed in the manufacture of drug substances, excipients, and drug products because of [its] unacceptable toxicity.”

It does, however provide guidance if benzene must be used in a drug. The complaint quotes it as saying that “if [benzene’s] use is unavoidable in order to produce a drug product with a significant therapeutic advance, then [its] levels should be restricted” to 2 parts per million (ppm). The complaint alleges that since other companies produce antiperspirants and deodorants without benzene, its use is not unavoidable.

According to the complaint, P&G gave no warning to consumers that the product contained benzene, through the ingredient list or any other means.

P&G has acknowledged that some of its products have been found to contain benzene, the complaint alleges, but “in its press release, on its website, and even on its consumer assistance phone recordings—and directly contrary to the guidance of the FDA and [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)]—P&G minimizes the danger of benzene to humans.”

The complaint quotes P&G’s statements from the Old Spice product recall pages as an example, as saying in part, “Benzene is ubiquitous in the environment. Humans around the world have daily exposures to it indoors and outdoors from multiple sources. … Based on exposure modeling and the cancer risk assessments published under 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.”

However, the complaint alleges that the independent testing pharmacy Valisure found benzene in P&G products in concentrations of up to 17.7 ppm, or nine times the concentration limit set by the FDA.

Article Type: Lawsuit
Topic: Consumer

Most Recent Case Event

Benzene in Secret, Old Spice Aerosol Antiperspirants and Deodorants Complaint

January 7, 2022

This class action takes issue with Secret and Old Spice spray antiperspirants and deodorants, made by the Procter & Gamble Company (P&G). The complaint alleges that the products contain benzene, which the complaint calls “a known human carcinogen that offers no therapeutic deodorant or antiperspirant benefit…”

Benzene in Secret, Old Spice Aerosol Antiperspirants and Deodorants Complaint

Case Event History

Benzene in Secret, Old Spice Aerosol Antiperspirants and Deodorants Complaint

January 7, 2022

This class action takes issue with Secret and Old Spice spray antiperspirants and deodorants, made by the Procter & Gamble Company (P&G). The complaint alleges that the products contain benzene, which the complaint calls “a known human carcinogen that offers no therapeutic deodorant or antiperspirant benefit…”

Benzene in Secret, Old Spice Aerosol Antiperspirants and Deodorants Complaint
Tags: Contaminated with Harmful Substances, Deceptive Advertising, Deceptive Labels