Valisure's study noted that one Walmart deodorant under the Equate brand displayed benzene levels over 3 times higher than the FDA allows.
- Equate Dry Spray, Cucumber - 6.15ppm
Benzene isn't an ingredient used by deodorant and antiperspirant manufacturers; contamination likely resulted from the propellants required to dispense the product, such as hydrofluorocarbon 152a, alcohol, isobutane, butane, and propane.
Walmart doesn't recall benzene-contaminated products
After Valisure's report brought the extensive benzene contamination issue to the public's attention, dissatisfied consumers started filing class action complaints against deodorant manufacturers. Because of this, Procter &Gamble, Unilever, and HRB Brands voluntarily recalled benzene-contaminated deodorants and antiperspirants.
Despite Valisure also identifying benzene in other products manufactured and sold by the company, like hand sanitizer and sunscreen, Walmart did not recall its line of deodorants that reportedly contain elevated benzene levels.
Although benzene contamination was most probably unintentional, Walmart is ultimately responsible for its products' safety. The company's lack of efforts to address the multiple reports of toxic benzene in its offerings could see Walmart facing several product liability, strict liability, and negligence claims, including:
- 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