Old Spice, Secret deodorant sprays recalled over cancer-causing chemical

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Proctor & Gamble said it is voluntarily recalling certain Old Spice and Secret aerosol anti-perspirant sprays due to the presence of a cancer-causing chemical.

The consumer-products giant’s recall affects 18 kinds of deodorant, including Old Spice’s Hardest Working and Below Deck collections, as well as select Secret Fresh, Outlast and Powder Fresh lines.

P&G, which also makes Tide detergent, Bounty paper towels and Gillette razors — said the deodorants in question carry an expiration date through September 2023 and contain benzene, which is a human carcinogen.

That means that when people are exposed to the chemical via inhalation or skin contact, it can result in cancers, including leukemia and blood cancer of the bone marrow, and life threatening blood disorders. 

While P&G has alerted retailers to remove the impacted spray on deodorants from its shelves, the company said it has not received any reports of adverse events related to the recall to date.

“Based on exposure modeling and the cancer risk assessments published by the Environmental Protection Agency, daily exposure to benzene in the recalled products at the levels detected in our testing would not be expected to cause adverse health consequences,” Proctor & Gamble added in its recall notice on Tuesday.

Old Spice aerosol canned sprays.
Procter & Gamble recalled a host of Old Spice spray-on deodorants due to the presence of benzene.
Proctor & Gamble

The Cincinnati, Ohio-based company wants people who purchased the affected products — which were sold in stores across the US and online — to throw them away.

Old Spice and Secret will offer reimbursement to consumers who have purchased the impacted products. Customers can fill out an online form or contact a hotline at 888-339-7689 Monday through Friday from 9 am to 6 pm ET.

A selection of Secret spray on deodorants.
Secret aerosol deodorant sprays that were recalled by parent company Procter & Gamble.
Proctor & Gamble

This isn’t the first benzene-related recall of 2021. In July, Johnson & Johnson recalled some spray-on Neutrogena and Aveeno sunscreens after it detected low levels of benzene in the products.

Below is a full list of P&G’s 18 recalled deodorants:

  • Old Spice High Endurance AP Spray Pure Sport 12/6oz (012044001912)
  • Old Spice Hardest Working Collection Inv Spray Stronger Swagger 3.8oz (012044044759)
  • Old Spice Hardest Working Collection Inv Spray Pure Sport Plus 12/3.8oz (037000729747)
  • Old Spice Hardest Working Collection Inv Spray Stronger Swagger 12/3.8oz (037000730347)
  • Old Spice Hardest Working Collection Inv Spray Ult Captain 12/3.8oz (037000749479)
  • Old Spice Below Deck Powder Spray Unscented 12/4.9oz (037000695714)
  • Old Spice Below Deck Powder Spray Fresh Air 12/4.9oz (037000695707)
  • Secret Aerosol Powder Fresh Twin Pack (037000586906)
  • Secret Aerosol Powder Fresh 12/6OZ (037000711087)
  • Secret Aerosol Powder Fresh 12/4OZ (037000711094)
  • Secret Fresh Collection Inv Spray Waterlily 3.8oz (037000723721)
  • Secret Fresh Collection Inv Spray Lavender 12/3.8oz (037000729860)
  • Secret Fresh Collection Inv Spray Water Lily 12/3.8oz (037000729914)
  • Secret Fresh Collection Inv Spray Light Essentials 12/3.8oz (037000729921)
  • Secret Fresh Collection Inv Spray Rose 12/3.8oz (037000798842)
  • Secret Outlast Inv Spray Completely Clean 12/3.8oz (037000747642)
  • Secret Outlast Inv Spray Protecting Powder 12/3.8oz (037000747727)
  • Old Spice Pure Sport 2021 Gift Set (012044048535)

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