Procter and Gamble settles out of court despite recalling benzene-contaminated deodorants

By Treven Pyles

Posted on August 01st, 2022

Following Valisure's disclosure regarding the benzene contents of popular US deodorants, 9 Procter & Gamble products sold under the Old Spice and Secret brands were found to be contaminated in variable amounts. Although this prompted a reaction from the manufacturer, it was influenced mainly by the response of scandalized consumers.

Benzene is classified as a toxic class 1 solvent and carcinogen known to produce multiple life-threatening conditions such as leukemia. Despite the FDA tolerating a 2ppm (parts per million) concentration in specific therapeutic drugs, benzene has no safe level of exposure. Valisure's results show that 9 P&G deodorant products exceeded the 2ppm standard, with some as high as 17.7 ppm.

  • Old Spice Pure Sport 12oz. | 16 oz. - 17.7ppm/17.4ppm
  • Secret Aerosol Powder Fresh 12/6oz. | 12/4oz. | Twin Pack - 16.2ppm/16.1ppm /12.5ppm
  • Old Spice Below Deck, Powder Spray - 5.22ppm
  • Secret Cool Light & Airy Smooth Feel, Dry Spray, 48 Hour Freshness, Rose 12oz. | 3.8oz. - 4.85ppm/2.58ppm
  • Old Spice Sweat Defense, Stronger Swagger, Dry Spray, Sweat & Odor Protection - 4.54ppm

Benzene is not an ingredient used by P&G or any other manufacturer in the production of deodorants; rather, Valisure considers that benzene contamination is most likely the result of propellants used in body sprays, like hydrofluorocarbon 152a, isobutane, butane, propane, and alcohol.

P&G's recall doesn't deter customer class-action complaints

After benzene contamination came to light, outraged consumers began filing class action complaints against the liable manufacturers. P&G reacted by issuing a recall of 18 Secret and Old Spice products on November 23, 2021, "out of an abundance of caution," including 24 and 48-hour deodorants with benzene concentrations below 2ppm as reported by Valisure:

  • Old Spice High Endurance AP Spray Pure Sport 12/6oz
  • Old Spice Hardest Working Collection Invisible Spray Stronger Swagger 3.8oz
  • Old Spice Hardest Working Collection Invisible Spray Pure Sport Plus 12/3.8oz
  • Old Spice Hardest Working Collection Invisible Spray Stronger Swagger 12/3.8oz
  • Old Spice Hardest Working Collection Invisible Spray Ultimate Captain 12/3.8oz
  • Old Spice Below Deck Powder Spray Unscented 12/4.9oz
  • Old Spice Below Deck Powder Spray Fresh Air 12/4.9oz
  • Secret Aerosol Powder Fresh Twin Pack
  • Secret Aerosol Powder Fresh 12/6oz
  • Secret Aerosol Powder Fresh 12/4oz
  • Secret Fresh Collection Invisible Spray Waterlily 3.8oz
  • Secret Fresh Collection Invisible Spray Lavender 12/3.8oz
  • Secret Fresh Collection Invisible Spray Water Lily 12/3.8oz
  • Secret Fresh Collection Invisible Spray Light Essentials 12/3.8oz
  • Secret Fresh Collection Invisible Spray Rose 12/3.8oz
  • Secret Outlast Invisible Spray Completely Clean 12/3.8oz
  • Secret Outlast Invisible Spray Protecting Powder 12/3.8oz
  • Old Spice Pure Sport 2021 Gift Set

Although P&G's recall could be considered an ethical measure, it was issued almost 3 weeks after Valisure's petition and only after consumers began pursuing legal action. Consequently, the numerous customer class-action complaints became part of a multi-district litigation suit, prompting P&G to settle matters out of court for an undisclosed amount in May 2022.

Our experienced legal team can assist you in filing a benzene deodorant claim

With more than three decades of experience representing clients' interests in toxic exposure cases, Environmental Litigation Group's competent attorneys can help you gain the compensation you are rightfully owed for your suffering. If you have developed acute myeloid leukemia (AML), acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL), or chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) after regularly using benzene-contaminated deodorants, we can help you file a claim against the liable manufacturers.

We understand that dealing with debilitating diseases is a struggle on its own, and we aim to involve you as minimally as possible so that you can focus on your health. We will only require you to provide us with the relevant details and medical records attesting to your diagnosis, allowing us to determine your claim's eligibility. If you choose to proceed, we will handle the complex aspects of the legal process, and you will not be required to pay out of your pocket if we do not achieve the compensation you're entitled to.