Back in November, it was revealed that an independent laboratory, Valisure, discovered high levels of a cancer-causing chemical in several antiperspirant products created by Procter and Gamble Co. The chemical, known as Benzene, is a known human carcinogen.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “the seriousness of poisoning caused by benzene depends on the amount, route, and length of time of exposure, as well as the age and preexisting medical condition of the exposed person.”
Shortly after the lab revealed its findings, Procter and Gamble Co. was hit with at least 17 lawsuits, Yahoo! Finance reported. The majority of the suits were filed in Ohio and two were filed in Kentucky.
Each of the plaintiffs allegedly used the Old Spice and Secret antiperspirant sprays for some time. One of the plaintiffs is known to have used the products for a total of two years.
It remains unclear if the lab only tested the aerosol products or if it tested other products as well. However, according to Yahoo! Finance, “the highest amount of benzene was found in Old Spice Pure Sport antiperspirant and Secret Powder Fresh 24-Hour.”
“An Old Spice Pure Sport sample examined by the independent lab had an average benzene concentration of nearly 18 parts per million. The Secret Powder Fresh 24-hour aerosol measured 16 ppm. When its use is unavoidable, the Food and Drug Administration says benzene levels should be restricted to under 2 parts per million.”
Aside from the 18 products Procter and Gamble Co. recalled in November, they claim all of the other Old Spice and Secret products are safe for use. As Mamas Uncut previously reported, in addition to the antiperspirants that were recalled, so were some of their dry shampoo products.
In a statement obtained by Yahoo!, the company alleged that “benzene is not an ingredient in any of its products. The benzene reportedly came from the propellant, which is produced by another manufacturer, that sprays the product out of the can.”
Further, P&G spokesperson Damon Jones claimed in his statement that “daily exposure to benzene at the levels detected in the recalled products ‘would not be expected to cause adverse health consequences.’”
This Is Not the First Time Procter and Gamble Has Been Hit With Lawsuits Over Their Deodorant Products
This isn’t the first time Procter and Gamble Co. faced a lawsuit for injuries their deodorant products may allegedly cause. Back in 2015, I wrote an article about burns my cousin suffered on his armpit after he used an Old Spice deodorant stick.
This was the photo I took of my cousin, Rodney College, six years ago:
After the burns initially occurred, I talked to Rodney about what happened, this is what he told me at the time. “I felt the initial redness start about two days ago,” Rodney revealed, not thinking at first it was the Old Spice deodorant he was using at the time. “I got out of the shower and it burned a lot.”
Rodney had never used this specific type of Old Spice deodorant before these burns occurred. Specifically, it was the pure sport-style of stick deodorant that allegedly caused the burns.
“Saturday night, when I got out of the shower, I put it on for the first time. By Sunday, it started looking like a diaper rash. On Monday, it broke the skin,” Rodney told me.
At the time, it was an issue that many customers talked about online. As the Indy Star reported back in 2016, a lawsuit was later filed in U.S. District Court in Columbus as a result. The lawsuit read, “In addition to blog complaints, YouTube features numerous videos also documenting armpit irritation, rash(es), and burning caused by Old Spice deodorant. Indeed, the problem is rampant, and rather than acknowledge the serious issue, Defendant is concealing it, in order to continue selling the product and reap windfall profits.”
Jones was also the spokesperson to make a statement back in 2016 following this specific issue. “A small number of men may experience irritation due to alcohol sensitivity, a common ingredient across virtually all deodorant products,” Jones stated. “For men who have experienced a reaction to a deodorant, an antiperspirant may be a better option because they have a different formulation.”
Rodney, who was allegedly the “lead plaintiff” in this lawsuit said those who brought the suit haven’t updated him in years, since December 2017, to be exact. It’s important to note that Rodney was contacted by lawyers regarding his experience, he never sought them out on his own.
It’s believed that suit never found a resolution.
Mamas Uncut is THE online place for moms. We cover the latest about motherhood, parenting, and entertainment as well – all with a mom-focused twist. So if you're looking for parenting advice from real parents, we have plenty of it, all for moms from moms, and also experts. Because, at the end of the day, our mission is focused solely on empowering moms and moms-to-be with the knowledge and answers they’re looking for in one safe space.