Procter & Gamble benzene deodorants

Valisure's research regarding the benzene contents of commercially-available aerosol deodorants and antiperspirants uncovered widespread contamination in products from several manufacturers. More than half of the tested batches from 30 different brands showed signs of benzene in differing concentrations. Among them, products manufactured by Procter & Gamble showed the highest level of contamination.

Benzene is a harmful carcinogen with no safe level of exposure that has been deemed a class 1 solvent. Exposure to benzene is considered a severe health hazard associated with the onset and development of leukemia and several other types of cancer. The FDA tolerates a small amount of 2 ppm (parts per million) of benzene in specific drugs, and the EPA established a 5 ppb (parts per billion) limit in drinking water; even so, no benzene is allowed in deodorants.

Claim Application

Benzene testing results

Valisure's revealing report detected benzene contamination in 5 Procter & Gamble deodorants under the Old Spice and Secret brands that, at times, exceeded acceptable FDA standards by 8 to 9 times.

  • Old Spice Pure Sport - 17.7 ppm avg.
  • Secret Powder Fresh - 16.2 ppm avg.
  • Old Spice Below Deck - 6.52 ppm avg.
  • Secret Cool Light & Airy Smooth Feel, Rose - 4.85 ppm avg.
  • Old Spice Sweat Defense Strong Swagger - 4.54 ppm avg.

The same report also notes that 3 other Procter & Gamble deodorants under the Secret brand showed signs of benzene at lower concentrations than 2ppm.

  • Secret Cool Light & Airy Smooth Feel, Light Essentials - 1.64 ppm avg.
  • Secret Cool Light & Airy Smooth Feel, Waterlily - 1.35 ppm avg.
  • Secret Out Last, Protecting Powder - 1.24 ppm avg.

Other products manufactured by Procter & Gamble under the Old Spice brand and tested by Valisure showed no signs of benzene contamination.

  • Old Spice - Fiji, Aluminum Free, Re Fresh, Scent Technology
  • Old Spice - Sea Spray, Lasting Cologne, Scent, Refresh Scent Technology
  • Old Spice - Wolfthorn, Aluminum Free, Re Fresh, Scent Technology
  • Old Spice - Dragonblast, Aluminum Free, Re Fresh, Scent Technology
  • Old Spice - Swagger, Aluminum Free, Re Fresh, Scent Technology
  • Old Spice - Krakengard, Aluminum Free, Re Fresh, Scent Technology

Procter & Gamble recalls benzene deodorants

On November 23, 2021, three weeks after the report was published, Procter & Gamble issued a voluntary recall of 18 Old Spice and Secret brand deodorants, claiming "an abundance of caution."

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

Procter & Gamble's Liability

Despite the presence of benzene in P&G's products, it's not an ingredient used to manufacture deodorants. More than likely, benzene contamination is the unintentional result of propellants used in spray deodorants, which include butane, propane, isobutane, hydrofluorocarbon 152a, and alcohol.

Even before Procter & Gamble recalled several deodorants suspected of benzene contamination, outraged consumers began filing class action complaints against the company. Even if contamination was unintentional, Procter & Gamble is ultimately responsible for the safety of its products and may face several strict liability, product liability, and negligence claims, such as:

  • defective design
  • manufacturing defect
  • failure to warn
  • improper warning labels
  • consumer fraud
  • deceptive trade practices
  • negligence per se
  • gross negligence
  • fraudulent concealment
  • fraudulent misrepresentation
  • negligent misrepresentation
  • breach of implied warranties

By April 7, 2022, consumers' claims were consolidated into a multi-district litigation class-action lawsuit. On May 3, 2021, the MDL class action was settled after the plaintiffs, and Procter & Gamble resolved the matter out of court for an undisclosed sum. 

File a benzene deodorant claim with Environmental Litigation Group

With more than 30 decades of experience representing clients' interests in cases of product liability and toxic exposure, Environmental Litigation Group's skilled attorneys can help you obtain the financial compensation you are owed for your suffering. If you have been diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia (AML), acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL), or chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) after regularly using benzene deodorants, we can help determine your claim's eligibility. Filing a benzene deodorant claim can be a time-consuming and strenuous process, and we intend to keep your involvement to a minimum, ensuring you have time to focus on your health. We will only require the details of your use of benzene deodorants and a diagnosis attesting to your condition. We will handle the rest of the rigorous legal process on your behalf.