Unilever benzene deodorants

The independent pharmacy Valisure released a report in November 2021 detailing the results of their research into the benzene contents of commercially-available aerosol deodorant and antiperspirant products. Out of the 108 tested batches of products that were tested, more than half showed signs of benzene contamination; among them were several products owned by Unilever. Benzene is a notorious carcinogen and a class 1 solvent known to lead to the onset and development of several types of cancer. Although the FDA and EPA set definitive standards regulating the substance (2 parts per million and 5 parts per billion, respectively), benzene has no safe level of exposure and isn't allowed in personal care products like deodorants and antiperspirants.

Claim Application

Benzene testing results

Valisure's research identified elevated benzene levels in two Suave brand deodorants, in one instance reported at more than double the concentrations deemed acceptable by the FDA.

  • Suave 24-hour protection Powder - 5.21 ppm avg. 
  • Suave 24-hour protection Fresh - 2.30 ppm avg.

Other tested batches of Unilever-owned deodorants under the Suave, Axe, Degree, and Dove brands showed decreased but still identifiable benzene levels under 2 parts per million.

  • Suave - 24-hour protection Powder - 0.97 ppm avg.
  • Axe - Better Than The Hype - below 0.10 ppm
  • Degree - MotionSense, Sexy Intrigue - below 0.10 ppm
  • Dove - Advanced Care, Nourished Beauty - below 0.10
  • Dove - Advanced Care, Original Clean - below 0.10 ppm
  • Dove - Advanced Care, Clear Finish - below 0.10 ppm
  • Dove - Men+Care, Clean Comfort - below 0.10 ppm
  • Dove - Men+Care, Invigorating, Lime + Sage - below 0.10 ppm
  • Dove - Men+Care, Refreshing Eucalyptus + Birch - below 0.10 ppm
  • Dove - Men+Care, Stain Defense - below 0.10 ppm

Not all of Unilever's products were affected by contamination, as Valisure's testing didn't find any signs of benzene in several tested product batches.

  • Axe - Apollo
  • Axe - Dry Spray, Non-Stop Hustle, Don’t Sweat it - Smell Fresh, 48 H Dry
  • Axe - Dry Spray, On Your Grind, Don’t Sweat It - Smell Fresh, 48 H Dry
  • Axe - Phoenix, Body Spray
  • Axe - Phoenix, Dry Spray, 48 H Dry
  • Axe - Signature, Night, 48 Anti Marks Protection
  • Degree - Advanced Protection, 72 H Dry Spray, Powder
  • Degree - Advanced Protection, 72 H Dry Spray, Passion
  • Degree - MotionSense, Dry Spray, Cool Rush, 48 H
  • Degree - MotionSense, Dry Spray, Ultraclear, Black+White
  • Dove - Men+Care, Dry Spray, Clean Comfort, 48 HR + Comfort
  • Dove - Men+Care, Dry Spray, Extra Fresh, 48 HR + Comfort
  • Suave - 24-Hour Protection, Powder, Instantly Dry, Dry Spray
  • Suave - Coconut Kiss, Instantly Dry, Dry Spray

Unilever recalls benzene-contaminated products

On March 30, 2022, four months after Valisure's report, Unilever issued a voluntary recall of two Suave brand products. An internal review identified "slightly elevated levels of benzene" that resulted from propellants used in aerosol sprays.

The company also noted that it ceased the product line's manufacturing in October 2021.

  • Suave - 24-Hour Protection Aerosol Antiperspirant Powder | 4 oz. & 6 oz.
  • Suave - 24-Hour Protection Aerosol Antiperspirant Fresh | 6 oz.

Unilever's liability

Despite the company's delayed recall, product safety is ultimately the manufacturer's responsibility, leading scandalized consumers to file class actions complaints against Unilever, who may face strict liability, product liability, and negligence claims, like:

  • 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

On July 24, 2022, a federal judge ruled that the plaintiffs' unjust enrichment and consumer fraud claims against Unilever were justified and denied the company's motion to dismiss the case entirely.

Our experienced professionals can help you file a benzene deodorant claim and pursue compensation

For more than thirty years, Environmental Litigation Group has helped individuals harmed by toxic exposure and unsafe products seek financial restitution and compensation for their injuries. If you consider that your acute myeloid leukemia (AML), acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL), or chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) diagnosis results from your regular use of benzene deodorants, we can help determine your claim's eligibility.

To establish your claim's validity and the compensation you're entitled to, we will only require that you provide us with medical records attesting to your diagnosis and the details of your frequent use of benzene deodorants. This will maintain your involvement to the required minimum, providing your more time to focus on your health as we handle the complex legal aspects on your behalf.