Antiperspirants, Deodorants Laced With Toxic Benzene Recalled
Benzene, a known cancer-causing chemical, was found in over half of 108 batches of antiperspirant and deodorant body sprays from 30 different brands, according to a citizen's petition filed this month with the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Sandee LaMotte reported for CNN.
Photo Insert: Right Guard was one of the products containing levels of benzene at or above 2 parts per million.
Benzene should not be used in the manufacture of drug substances or products because it is a class one solvent with "unacceptable toxicity," according to the FDA.
However, the FDA did allow a "temporary" use of benzene in liquid hand sanitizers during the pandemic, setting the upper limit to 2 parts per million. All have an expiration date of before September, 2023.
The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has set a much lower limit -- 5 parts per billion (ppb) -- for exposure to benzene in drinking water. The agency has also set a "goal of 0 ppb for benzene in drinking water and in water such as rivers and lakes because benzene can cause leukemia.
Last week, "in an abundance of caution," manufacturer Procter & Gamble voluntarily pulled 17 different types of Old Spice and Secret antiperspirant off the shelves.
A number of other brands have not yet been recalled, including batches of Tag, Sure, Equate, Suave, Right Guard, and Brut that had levels of benzene at or above 2 parts per million, said David Light, CEO and founder of Valisure, the independent lab that ran the tests and filed the petition.
Additional batches of antiperspirants and deodorants, which Valisure said tested at levels up to 2 parts per million, include products made by Summer's Eve, Right Guard, Power Stick, Soft & Dri, and Victoria's Secret.
To date, CNN was not able to verify that any of these products except Old Spice and Secret have been recalled following Valisure's early November request to that effect to the FDA.