Benzene is classified as a human carcinogen. Exposure to benzene can occur by inhalation, orally, and through the skin and can result in certain cancers. Based on exposure modelling and the cancer risk assessments published by the US Environmental Protection Agency, daily exposure to benzene in the recalled products at the levels detected in P&G’s testing would not be expected to cause adverse health consequences.
To date, P&G has not received any reports of adverse events related to this recall and is conducting the recall “out of an abundance of caution”.
The affected products are used as antiperspirant spray products and are packaged in aerosol cans:
- Old Spice Sweat Defense Pure Sport Plus Dry Spray Antiperspirant/Deodorant 107g;
- Old Spice Sweat Defense Stronger Swagger Dry Spray Antiperspirant/Deodorant 107g;
- Old Spice Sweat Defense Ultimate Captain Dry Spray Antiperspirant/Deodorant 107g;
- Secret Baby Powder Spray Antiperspirant/Deodorant 122g;
- Secret Outlast Completely Clean Dry Spray Antiperspirant/Deodorant 107g;
- Secret Outlast Protecting Powder Dry Spray Antiperspirant/Deodorant 107g;
- Secret Dry Spray Lavender Antiperspirant/Deodorant 107g;
- Secret Dry Spray Waterlily Antiperspirant/Deodorant 107g.
The recalled products were distributed nationwide in Canada through retail outlets and online. All other Old Spice and Secret products are not impacted by this issue and may continue to be used as intended. P&G said this represents the vast majority of our products, including body spray products, solid sticks, soft solids and gel antiperspirants and deodorant products.
P&G has notified its retailers to remove the products from shelves. Old Spice and Secret will also offer reimbursement from consumers who have purchased products impacted by this recall. Consumers are advised to stop using these products immediately and discard the affected aerosol spray products.
Benzene contamination has affected several brands in recent months, including Bayer, Odor-Eaters, Coppertone (a Beiersdorf company), and Johnson & Johnson.
In our November/December issue, we speak to Valisure, an online pharmacy and independent quality assurance and certification company based in the US, about their findings related to benzene in aerosols.