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December 10, 2021 – The Procter & Gamble Company working with the FDA has issued a recall of two of its product line for benzene contamination.

In its formal recall, Procter & Gamble issued a statement that it has had no reports of adverse reactions, adding that “daily exposure to benzene in the recalled products at the levels detected in our testing would not be expected to cause adverse health consequences.”

Lot and descriptions of the recalled Procter & Gamble products.

UPC                                                                                               Description

  • 012044001912    Old Spice High Endurance AP Spray Pure Sport 12/6oz
  • 012044044759    Old Spice Hardest Working Collection Inv Spray Stronger Swagger 3.8oz
  • 037000729747    Old Spice Hardest Working Collection Inv Spray Pure Sport Plus 12/3.8oz
  • 037000730347    Old Spice Hardest Working Collection Inv Spray Stronger Swagger 12/3.8oz
  • 037000749479    Old Spice Hardest Working Collection Inv Spray Ult Captain 12/3.8oz
  • 037000695714    Old Spice Below Deck Powder Spray Unscented 12/4.9oz
  • 037000695707    Old Spice Below Deck Powder Spray Fresh Air 12/4.9oz
  • 012044048535    Old Spice Pure Sport 2021 Gift Set

Benzene Cancer Risks:

Benzene is a well-established cause of cancer in humans. The International Agency for Research on Cancer has classified benzene as carcinogenic to humans.  Benzene causes acute myeloid leukemia (acute non-lymphocytic leukemia), and there is limited evidence that benzene may also cause acute and chronic lymphocytic leukemia, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and multiple myeloma. Individuals who have experienced benzene poisoning requiring treatment show a substantially increased risk of mortality from leukemia.

But according to a third part testing company Valisure, the levels of contamination calls for concern.

In their tests by they found levels of benzene in some batches of P&G products.

The most highly contaminated — two lots of an Old Spice antiperspirant called Pure Sport contained 17.7 and 17.4 average parts per million of benzene. 

Valisure CEO David Light offered this statement:

“That’s nearly nine times the upper limit of 2 parts per million the FDA has set for emergency use.” Secret Powder Fresh, 24 HR Aerosol (Lots 11721458SG and 11701458SH; UPC 037000711087) had about 16 average parts per million, tests showed.

He continued: “With aerosols, you might be using it every day, probably in a closed space like a bathroom.”

The company tested the product with the highest levels of benzene (Old Spice Pure Sport with 17.7 ppm) in a closed bathroom, spraying once under each arm as a consumer would. By doing so, you “could bring the entire bathroom air to 15 times the limit for what the EPA has said is an increased risk for leukemia,” Light said.

“Our investigation showed that traces of benzene came from the propellant that sprays the product out of the can,” said Kate DiCarlo, senior director of communications for the Personal Care Portfolio of P&G.

“Due to the highly specialized nature of aerosol products, we use a manufacturing partner to produce these products,” Dicarlo continued. “That manufacturing partner identified an issue with their propellant supply and is implementing additional measures to address the issue identified in the investigation.

“Once the recall is complete, we are preparing to ship new product that meets our quality standards to re-stock shelves.”

What should consumers do if they have contaminated Old Spice products?

Procter & Gamble has setup a website where customers can get reimbursement for any of the recalled products.  Also if you’ve been harmed from one of these recalled products, you can contact the FDA and report any side effects or illness on their Medwatch system.