Valisure uncovers benzene contamination in body spray products

By Treven Pyles

Posted on September 20th, 2022

Research performed by the independent pharmacy Valisure on 108 deodorant product batches revealed that more than half were contaminated with benzene, a critical health hazard that can lead to the development of multiple types of cancers and other life-threatening diseases following prolonged exposure to the toxic chemical.

Some of the contaminated lots disclosed a level of benzene nearly nine times over the FDA-accepted limit, sparking great concern over consumer health. Valisure identified 59 deodorant batches with high benzene levels. Several Procter & Gamble product batches ranked at the top of the list as the most highly contaminated.

Valisure detects high levels of benzene in body sprays and requests immediate action

Several federal and international organizations categorize benzene as a class one solvent with "unacceptable toxicity," recognizing it as a threat to public health. However, its presence is allowed in a minimal selection of drugs with therapeutic use under the FDA-tolerated limit, which does not apply to body sprays.

It is worthy of note that benzene is not one of the ingredients in the formulation of body spray products. Contamination is unintentional and occurs during the manufacturing process. Valisure notes that exposure to benzene only occurs with antiperspirants and spray deodorants as a result of the chemicals used as propellants:

  • butane
  • isobutene
  • hydrofluorocarbon 152a
  • propane
  • alcohol

Valisure's research revealed benzene contamination in product batches from 30 different brands, such as:

Products from the previously listed brands were found to contain benzene levels between 2.24 and 17.7 ppm and caused significant concern among consumers:

  • 24 lots from 8 brands - between 2.24 - 17.7 ppm avg.
  • 14 lots from 8 brands - between 0.20 - 1.89 ppm avg.
  • 21 lots from 8 brands - less than 0.1 ppm avg.

The tests performed by Valisure identified high levels of benzene in antiperspirant body sprays, which are considered drug products by the FDA, as well as in deodorant body spray products, which are regulated as cosmetics. However, benzene was not detected in an additional 49 lots of body sprays from 19 different brands through an initial analysis of at least one sample of each.

Even in small concentrations, benzene's elevated toxicity can endanger human health, considering how many people apply the tainted products daily, and prolonged use can result in cancers, including leukemia and other life-threatening blood disorders.

Valisure's petitions on benzene-contaminated products from the past year highlight the necessity for a better benzene regulation for its evident prevalence in the drug and consumer product supply chains. Further actions requested from the FDA involve:

  • a recall of the contaminated batches
  • defining a reasonable detection limit for benzene in drug and cosmetic products clarifications

Not every body spray product contains benzene, and available uncontaminated products can continue to be used without a potential benzene risk involved.

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Since 1990, our law firm has been recovering compensation for toxic exposure victims, from veterans to industrial workers. Nowadays, we have expanded our area of practice, and we also take on claims from consumers who have been using benzene-contaminated body sprays and developed acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL), chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), or acute myeloid leukemia (AML).

Following an all-encompassing assessment of your case, our lawyers will determine whether you qualify for filing a benzene body spray claim. Environmental Litigation Group will take care of the most challenging aspects of the legal process on your behalf and fight to obtain the compensation you are entitled to from the liable manufacturers.