Procter and Gamble is voluntarily recalling select lots of its Old Spice and Secret aerosol spray antiperspirant and Old Spice Below Deck aerosol spray products due to the presence of a cancer-causing chemical.
In an announcement on Tuesday, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said 18 products are being recalled with expiry dates through September 2023.
The products were sold nationwide in stores and online in the United States, and are being voluntarily recalled due to the presence of benzene detected. All other Old Spice and Secret products are not impacted by the issue and may continue to be used as intended, the FDA said.
Benzene, a chemical that appears as a colorless or light yellow liquid, causes cells not to work properly and attack the immune system. It can lead to anemia in humans, while long-term exposure to high levels of benzene can cause leukemia and cancer of the blood-forming organs.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), benzene is a natural part of crude oil, gasoline, and cigarette smoke and is a widely used but highly flammable chemical.
Exposure to benzene can occur through inhalation, orally, or through the skin and its effects vary, with symptoms ranging from dizziness and irregular heartbeat to convulsions and, at very high levels, death.
Procter & Gamble said it has not received any reports of adverse events related to the recall but is voluntarily recalling the select items “out of an abundance of caution.”
The 18 recalled products include:
- Old Spice High Endurance AP Spray Pure Sport 12/6oz (012044001912)
- Old Spice Hardest Working Collection Inv Spray Stronger Swagger 3.8oz (012044044759)
- Old Spice Hardest Working Collection Inv Spray Pure Sport Plus 12/3.8oz (037000729747)
- Old Spice Hardest Working Collection Inv Spray Stronger Swagger 12/3.8oz (037000730347)
- Old Spice Hardest Working Collection Inv Spray Ult Captain 12/3.8oz (037000749479)
- Old Spice Below Deck Powder Spray Unscented 12/4.9oz (037000695714)
- Old Spice Below Deck Powder Spray Fresh Air 12/4.9oz (037000695707)
- Secret Aerosol Powder Fresh Twin Pack (037000586906)
- Secret Aerosol Powder Fresh 12/6OZ (037000711087)
- Secret Aerosol Powder Fresh 12/4OZ (037000711094)
- Secret Fresh Collection Inv Spray Waterlily 3.8oz (037000723721)
- Secret Fresh Collection Inv Spray Lavender 12/3.8oz (037000729860)
- Secret Fresh Collection Inv Spray Water Lily 12/3.8oz (037000729914)
- Secret Fresh Collection Inv Spray Light Essentials 12/3.8oz (037000729921)
- Secret Fresh Collection Inv Spray Rose 12/3.8oz (037000798842)
- Secret Outlast Inv Spray Completely Clean 12/3.8oz (037000747642)
- Secret Outlast Inv Spray Protecting Powder 12/3.8oz (037000747727)
- Old Spice Pure Sport 2021 Gift Set (012044048535)
“Based on exposure modeling and the cancer risk assessments published by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) (IRIS database), daily exposure to benzene in the recalled products at the levels detected in our testing would not be expected to cause adverse health consequences. Benzene is ubiquitous in the environment. Humans around the world have daily exposures to it indoors and outdoors from multiple sources. 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 FDA said.
Procter & Gamble Company has notified its retailers to remove products from shelves and consumers who have purchased products impacted by this recall will be offered reimbursement by Old Spice and Secret.
Consumers are being warned to stop using and appropriately discard the affected aerosol spray products immediately. Individuals who experience any problems that may be related to using the recalled products are urged to contact their physician or healthcare provider and report adverse reactions online to the Food and Drug Administration’s MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program.