Secret Recall and Outdated Spice: Here is What You Want To Know About Benzene


The Procter & Gamble Company has issued a nationwide voluntary recall of several varieties of Old Spice and Secret aerosol sprays with expiration dates until September 2023 after the discovery of known carcinogenic benzene in some of their products.

« The affected products are used as antiperspirants and personal care products and are packaged in aerosol cans, » the company said in a statement. declaration which details which products have been recalled. If you or a loved one uses any of the affected products, throw it out and visit Where to find out how to get a refund.

Benzene is created both naturally and by human activity, according to the Centers for Disaster Control and Prevention (CDC). It forms in fires and volcanoes and occurs in gasoline, cigarette smoke, and crude oil. But it is also widely used in industrial processes – it is one of the top 20 chemicals used by production volume – when manufacturing plastics, resins, synthetic fibers, lubricants, rubbers, dyes , detergents, drugs and pesticides. This means that you are likely exposed to benzene in your day-to-day life, regardless of whether a product you are using is on this recall list.

Benzene is a known carcinogen, but that doesn’t mean that using any of these products automatically means you’ll get cancer (or even a significantly higher risk of developing the disease). “Based on exposure modeling and cancer risk assessments published by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) (IRIS database), daily exposure to benzene in recalled products at levels detected during our tests should not have adverse health consequences. according to the statement of The Procter & Gamble Company. “To date, The Procter & Gamble Company has not received any adverse event reports related to this recall and is proceeding with this recall as a precaution. « 

Concerns about benzene primarily relate to exposure to large amounts of it. In the short term, people who inhale large amounts of benzene may experience drowsiness and dizziness, changes in their heartbeat, headaches, tremors, confusion, and even death when inhaled while inhaled. extremely high quantities, the CDC Explain. If a large amount of benzene is ingested (by eating or drinking contaminated food or drink) it can lead to vomiting, seizures, irregular heartbeat, or death (again, at very high levels).

Over time, benzene can make it difficult for the bone marrow to make red blood cells, and it can damage the immune system, increase bleeding, and increase infection rates. Long-term exposure to large amounts of benzene in the air is known to cause leukemia.

The chemical was found in Procter & Gamble Company products by an independent pharmaceutical testing company, Valisure, which has filed a citizen petition with the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the products to be recalled. . During their tests, they found benzene at levels as high as 17.7 parts per million (ppm) —Much higher than the FDA limit of 2 ppm.

Valisure also found other products containing benzene at levels above 2 ppm, including sprays from Tag, Suave, Equate, Sure, Right Guard and Brut, although the levels were highest among specific lots of Secret and Old Spice. So far, no recalls have been issued for the other brands.

This is not the first time that benzene has appeared in topical products. As SELF previously reported, Neutrogena and Aveeno recalled several lots of sunscreen in July.


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