Old Spice Class Action Lawsuit Filed Over Presence of Cancer-Causing Benzene

The FDA indicates there is no need for the Class I solvent and known carcinogen to have a presence in deodorant sprays

Following a report which found Old Spice antiperspirants and deodorants contain high levels of benzene, a class action lawsuit against Procter & Gamble alleges the manufacturer knew or should have known about the problems, and failed to properly screen its products for the cancer causing chemical.

The complaint (PDF) was filed by Otto Delcid in the U.S. District Court Southern District of New York on November 15, seeking class action status to pursue damages for himself and others who purchased the popular deodorant sprays which are now known to contain the cancer-causing chemical benzene.

The lawsuit joins a growing number of Old Spice benzene lawsuits filed since the prominent testing pharmacy Valisure released a report indicating that it found high levels of benzene in numerous brands and batches of body spray and deodorant spray products, including Old Spice, Secret, Suave, Tag and others. Valisure filed a citizen’s petition with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, calling for a deodorant recall of the affected products.

Benzene is an industrial chemical that has been associated with the development of several fatal forms of cancer, leukemia and other conditions, such as AML, Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia (CML), Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia (ALL), Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL), Hairy Cell Leukemia (HCL), Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, Multiple Myeloma, Myelodysplastic Syndrome (MDL), Myelofibrosis and Myeloid Metaplasia, Aplastic Anemia and Thrombocytopenic Purpura.

The deodorant lawsuits follow the identification of benzene in many sunscreen spray products earlier this year, which led to a number of consumers filing sunscreen cancer lawsuits and class action claims against Johnson & Johnson, as well as other manufacturers.

Delcid’s complaint indicates he began purchasing Old Spice Pure Sport from a Rite Aid in Manhattan, New York, and believed the antiperspirants and deodorants to be safe and free from defects based on the representations made on the product labeling. However, the lawsuit states that if he had known about the Old Spice cancer risks posed by the presence of benzene, he would have chosen any one of a variety of alternative products.

The FDA categorizes benzene as a Class I Solvent, which should not be used in the making of drug products because of its toxicity. However, if a product must contain benzene, it should be limited to 2 parts per million (ppm).

Despite the limitation threshold set forth by regulatory officials, Valisure’s findings released this month indicate many deodorants and body sprays test multiple times over the limit. Of the 108 unique batches from 30 different brands, 49 of the lots across 11 brand names detected the presence of cancer-causing chemicals in deodorants. Some lots of Proctor & Gamble’s Secret Powder Fresh contained benzene levels exceeding 16 parts per million (ppm).

Sunscreen Benzene Concerns

Following similar findings by Valisure of benzene in aerosol sunscreen spray products earlier this year, a number of popular products have been recalled, including Neutrogena, Aveeno, Coppertone and other widely used brands.

Johnson & Johnson issued the Neutrogena and Aveeno sunscreen spray recall in July 2021, after confirming the known human carcinogens was present in it’s products, and at least eight class action complaints have been filed against the company, each raising similar allegations that Johnson & Johnson endangered consumers’ health by not warning them of the presence of benzene in brands of Neutrogena and Aveeno spray sunscreen, which could increase their risk of cancer.

Late last month, Johnson & Johnson and Costco announced they had reached a settlement agreement to resolve the cases. However, the details of the sunscreen settlement agreement have not yet been revealed and the deal has not been finalized.

22 Comments

  • DominickSeptember 23, 2022 at 10:51 am

    I used Old Spice and suffered burns in my armpits. If there is a lawsuit I would like to join it.

  • CHRISTINAAugust 10, 2022 at 4:38 pm

    I've used old spice for a while now my husband also then we both had this horrible burning rash, mine was 10x worse it was burning and swollen I couldn't even lift up my left arm all the way, it wasn't just a rash, it was burning and painful I had never felt a pain like that before in my life, until it happened to me my husband was brushing his off to a heat type rash due to his job. I don't wish [Show More]I've used old spice for a while now my husband also then we both had this horrible burning rash, mine was 10x worse it was burning and swollen I couldn't even lift up my left arm all the way, it wasn't just a rash, it was burning and painful I had never felt a pain like that before in my life, until it happened to me my husband was brushing his off to a heat type rash due to his job. I don't wish this on anyone SHAME ON YOU OLD SPICE! MY HOUSEHOLD AND FRIENDS WILL NEVER USE YOUR PRODUCTS AGAIN. Like seriously it's more than just a rash. I'm furious these products are still being sold, they should be taken off all shelves everywhere period

  • santoJuly 21, 2022 at 10:43 am

    My armpit is on fire can't even lift my arm never used old spice before I have like 3rd degree burn marks under my arm

  • NickJuly 7, 2022 at 3:16 pm

    I've never had a problem with deodorant. I switch occasionally to different brands/smells. When I used old spice, after 24 hours it looked like I had rubbed sand paper under my arm for an hour. I switched to a different brand of deodorant the next day and thankfully it didn't cause it to get worse. It took 2 weeks of pain then itching to go away.

  • ShaneJune 28, 2022 at 12:04 pm

    Had skin first start to peel. Then a painful rash formed.

  • DavidJune 20, 2022 at 1:43 am

    I have the same issue. I found out it's the benzene in the deorderant. My arm pits are irritated. I'm no longer going to use any old spice products. I would suggest spreading the word so they're recalled or discontinued.

  • DanMay 8, 2022 at 1:30 am

    Wow this whole time it was the old spice that was giving me heart palpitations and over feeling not to good time to go get checked out I have had big stock of old spice stuff for long time.

  • JustinApril 15, 2022 at 11:23 am

    Bought old spice and Been using it for a week and now I have a pain full rash in armpits

  • TessaApril 12, 2022 at 10:28 pm

    Mine are the exact same. Fiji sent (aluminum free version) got me in less than 24 hours. I woke up in pain.

  • GabrielApril 3, 2022 at 11:11 pm

    I thought their deodorant has changed, I recently bought a new anti perspirate scent and within two days of using it. I have red burning itchy patches on my skin and throughout my armpit AGAIN! I seem to not be the only one. And it's the only deodorant I have an issue with.

  • DylanMarch 19, 2022 at 6:39 pm

    I thought it was just me getting burns on my pits, now I forever have random itch and scared to use deodorant

  • EmilyMarch 19, 2022 at 12:31 am

    I used old spice fiji gel deodorant for about a year and developed dark red itchy rashes on the area it was applied to. They burned, and spread to surrounding areas.

  • HectorMarch 15, 2022 at 1:48 pm

    Horrible rash and burning in my armpit

  • KeierraMarch 15, 2022 at 7:59 am

    I definitely had burns under my arms as well

  • KristiMarch 11, 2022 at 5:25 pm

    My son recently realized his armpit rashes coincided with his use of Old Spice deodorants, but his were the SOLID deodorants. Are these also a concern?

  • LeannaMarch 11, 2022 at 3:20 pm

    I have chemical burns under my arms due to using the fiji deodorant by old spice.

  • SyraMarch 11, 2022 at 12:31 am

    I’ve been using old spice swagger deodorant for years now and over the last year I’ve been having burning, irritation, and swelling on the application area and it’s just been really hard to do simple daily tasks due to it. Recently I switched deodorants and it hasn’t come back.

  • JoshuaMarch 10, 2022 at 1:24 am

    I used old spice body wash shampoo and deodorant but lately I have been getting a burning sensation under my arms for hours. Will definitely be getting rid of it

  • RiannMarch 9, 2022 at 1:05 am

    My pits hurt man. First they were burnt and now they're peeling like a sunburn.

  • SarahFebruary 27, 2022 at 10:30 pm

    I used the old spice Swagger deodorant in a pinch< and i am suffering now< after 4 days with severe and growing or spreading chemical burns that keep me from being able to wear a bra or any sort of clingy tops.

  • ShirleyFebruary 14, 2022 at 7:16 pm

    My son got a chemical burn from old spice deodorant.

  • LyndonJanuary 27, 2022 at 5:26 am

    Old spice needs banned from stores

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