P&G Detects Benzene in Antiperspirant and Body Sprays, Issues Recall

Dreamstime M 215000140

Procter & Gamble (P&G) has voluntarily recalled all lots of Old Spice and Secret aerosol spray antiperspirants, and of Old Spice Below Deck aerosol spray products sold in the United States with an expiration date of September 2023 (see below for the complete list). This action is due to the detection of benzene, which is classified as a human carcinogen.

Based on exposure modeling and cancer risk assessments published by the U.S. EPA, daily exposure to benzene in the recalled products at the levels detected would not be expected to cause adverse health consequences.

Benzene Risk

This follows several previous recalls and lawsuits related to benzene detection in sunscreens, with other manufacturers including Johnson & Johnson and Beiersdorf. As the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) previously explained, benzene is classified as a human carcinogen and exposure to it can occur through inhalation, oral and skin and it could, depending on the level and extent of exposure, result in an increased risk of cancers and other blood disorders that can be life-threatening.

However, based on exposure modeling and the cancer risk assessments published by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) (IRIS database), P&G emphasizes that daily exposure to benzene in the recalled products at the levels detected during testing would not be expected to cause adverse health consequences.

In a P&G press release, the company states, "To date, The Procter & Gamble Company has not received any reports of adverse events related to this recall and is conducting this recall out of an abundance of caution. The affected products are used as antiperspirants and hygiene products and are packaged in aerosol cans.... All other Old Spice and Secret products are not impacted by this issue and may continue to be used as intended."

P&G has notified retailers to remove the products from shelves. Old Spice and Secret will also offer reimbursement for consumers who have purchased products impacted by this recall. Consumers should stop using and appropriately discard the affected aerosol spray products.

Affected Products

Pg Recalled Products Horiz

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