Harmful ingredients found in deodorants

By Treven Pyles

Posted on August 23rd, 2022

Valisure's report highlighting the benzene contents of deodorants and antiperspirants from several major US companies caught consumers and manufacturers off guard. Although contaminated deodorants have been recalled, concerned consumers are becoming aware of the risk posed by unsafe chemicals in personal care products.

Classified as a toxic class 1 solvent, benzene is a carcinogen with no safe level of exposure that is sometimes tolerated in therapeutic drugs by the FDA in minuscule amounts (2 parts per million) so long as it performs a vital purpose. Due to its clinically-demonstrated association with life-threatening illnesses like leukemia, the EPA set a strict limit of only 5 parts per billion of benzene in drinking water.

While manufacturers issued several recalls of compromised products, they do not use benzene as an ingredient in the fabrication process. Valisure notes that, most likely, contamination occurred due to propellants used in aerosol sprays, including alcohol, butane, hydrofluorocarbon 152A, isobutane, and propane.

Though manufacturing companies have taken steps to remedy the situation, concerned consumers are now aware of the dangers that unsafe chemicals in personal hygiene products represent and are increasingly asking what other deodorant contents can pose a similar threat.

Deodorant ingredients that should be avoided

As personal care products that are frequently applied more than once a day, deodorants are a staple of American hygiene; however, their application on the underarm area has been viewed as problematic due to the proximity to the lymph nodes. Over the years, deodorant manufacturers have come under scrutiny for using questionable ingredients that are associated with a range of debilitating conditions and adverse side effects, including:

  • Aluminum - linked to Alzheimer's, fluctuating estrogen levels, breast, and prostate cancer.
  • Diethanolamine (DEA) and triethanolamine (TEA) - linked to cancer, as well as kidney and liver issues.
  • Fragrance - umbrella term for ingredients linked to hormone disruption, pregnancy development issues, and reproductive system issues.
  • Parabens - linked to hormone disruption and breast cancer.
  • Phthalates - linked to endocrine disruptions in males, as well as early puberty onset in women, which is correlated with breast cancer at later stages of life; also linked with infertility, liver, kidney, and lung damage, low sperm count, and ovarian, prostate, and breast cancer.
  • Propylene Glycol - petroleum-based substance that can increase skin penetration, allowing harmful chemicals to be absorbed at a higher rate; linked to cancer, reproductive issues, fetal development abnormalities, endocrine disruption, and neurotoxicity.
  • Silica - linked to skin irritation and allergies, along with respiratory issues and lung cancer due to crystalline silica's asbestos-like structure.
  • Triclosan - linked to endocrine disruption and breast cancer, can also bioaccumulate in fatty tissues over time.

Although research is ongoing and the FDA and EPA continuously monitor and evaluate the latest scientific evidence pertaining to the toxicity of ingredients in personal care products, it's advisable and prudent to avoid deodorants containing questionable ingredients and opt for safer alternatives.

We can help you file a benzene deodorant claim and pursue compensation

Environmental Litigation Group's experienced team of attorneys and legal experts has assisted clients who were injured due to the use of faulty products for more than three decades. If you have been diagnosed with chronic lymphocytic leukemia, acute lymphocytic leukemia, or acute myeloid leukemia after regularly using benzene deodorants, we can help determine your claim's eligibility and pursue compensation from the liable manufacturers.

We understand the plethora of challenges that leukemia victims struggle with daily, and that is why we aim to keep your involvement to a minimum. To evaluate your claim's eligibility, we will require only the relevant details of your current situation and medical records affirming your diagnosis. We will handle the complicated legal process on your behalf.