Antiperspirant recall: What the finding of a cancer-causing chemical means for you

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Several other brands have yet to be recalled, including Batch of Tag, Sure, Equate, Suave, Right Guard and Brute. benzene level At or more than 2 parts per million, said David Light, CEO and founder of Velisure, the independent lab that ran the test and filed the petition.

Additional batches of antiperspirants and deodorants, which Valisure tested at levels up to 2 parts per million, include products made by Summer Eve, Right Guard, Power Stick, Soft & Draw, and Victoria’s Secret. to date, Granthshala was not able to verify that any of these products have been recalled except for Old Spice and Secret: Valisure’s A request to that effect to the FDA in early November.

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Granthshala reached out to all these companies for feedback. The Village Company, which makes the soft and dry, declined to comment. Unilever, which manufactures Suave, told Granthshala in an email: “Unilever takes all safety concerns seriously, and we are conducting a vigorous investigation into the Valiser petition’s claim about two Suave antiperspirant aerosols.”

Granthshala did not receive a response from the rest of the brands prior to publication, but the Personal Care Products Council, an industry association that speaks for 600 consumer product companies, put it out. Statement.

“Benzene is not an intentionally added ingredient to body spray products; however, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), as well as product manufacturers, are aware that it may be present in food and drug products at very low levels,” the PCPC wrote. Was.


“PCPC and its member companies are strongly committed to ensuring that consumers have access to cosmetics and personal care products that have been thoroughly tested for safety and meet the requirements of the law,” the statement said. do follow.” “Companies and individuals have a legal responsibility to ensure that their products and materials are safe for intended use.”

High levels of benzene detected

Benzene is created by natural and man-made processes. The chemical, which can trick the body’s cells into not working properly, is also a natural part of crude oil, gasoline and cigarette smoke. U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,
It is also used to manufacture a variety of “plastics, lubricants, rubbers, dyes, detergents, drugs and pesticides”. According to the American Cancer Society,
By increasing the “risk of developing leukemia and other blood disorders,” exposure can be dangerous. National Cancer Institute said.
Exposure to high levels of benzene in the air can cause death, and if “you spill benzene on your skin, it can cause redness and sores,” According to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). “Benzene in your eyes can cause general irritation and damage to your cornea.”
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In its recall, P&G said it had no reports of adverse reactions, adding that “daily exposure to benzene in the recalled products at the levels found in our testing would not be expected to cause adverse health consequences. “

However, tests by Valisure found related to benzene levels in some batches of P&G products. The most contaminants—two lots Old Spice antiperspirant called Pure Sport (lots 11671458SQ and 11671458SB; UPC 0120440011912)—contain between 17.7 and 17.4 average parts per million of benzene, said Valisure CEO David Light.

“That’s almost nine times the upper limit of 2 parts per million set by the FDA for emergency use,” Light said.

The Secret Powder Fresh, 24 HR aerosol (lots 11721458SG and 11701458SH; UPC 037000711087) contained approximately 16 average parts per million, the test revealed.

“With the aerosol, you’ll be using it every day, probably in a closed space like a bathroom,” Light said.

The company tested the product in a closed bathroom with the highest level of benzene (Old Spice Pure Sport with 17.7 ppm), sprayed once under each arm as a consumer. By doing so, you can “bring up to 15 times the air of the entire bathroom, which the EPA says is an increased risk for leukemia,” Light said.

How does the product become contaminated?

In total testing, benzene levels varied greatly from batch to batch, even within a single brand, Valliser noted, while 49 lots from 19 different brands had at least one sample of body spray. Preliminary analysis showed no benzene.

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In total, “24 lots of 8 different brands of body spray products contained between 2.24 – 17.7 ppm benzene; 0 in 14 lots of 8 brands. Press release,

Experts say that none of the products contain benzene as an ingredient, so the way the chemical could have been introduced was through an error in the manufacturing process – or the way the chemical was introduced into the body. is delivered.

Valisur said one possibility is that benzene hydrofluorocarbon 152a, from ingredients such as butane, isobutane, propane and alcohol, could be used to disperse the spray on the skin.

“Our investigation revealed that traces of benzene came from the propellant that sprays the product out of the can,” said Kate DiCarlo, senior director of communications for P&G’s personal care portfolio.

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

“Once the recall is complete, we prepare to ship new product that meets our quality standards to be re-stocked off shelves.”

Other products with benzene

Is avoiding propellants in spray products the answer to reducing risk? Maybe experts say. However, Valisure also found higher levels of benzene in non-aerosol body odor products, including powders and sticks, Light said.

“I think there is good evidence that propellants are a significant source of this contamination, but the raw materials used to make the products have many potential sources,” Light said.

“The use of certain chemicals, equipment or containers can cause impurities to be present in the manufacturing environment. We need more testing,” said David Andrews, a senior scientist at the nonprofit Environmental and Consumer Environmental Working Group (EWG). Health advocacy group.

“We need independent analysis as part of the overall supply chain. It’s really important to find these problems before they hit shelves,” Light said.

Benzene has also been found in other consumer products. The FDA warmed to consumers for not using some hand sanitizers in the pandemic due to the high levels of the solvent, and this summer Johnson & Johnson (J&J) voluntarily removed four brands of Neutrogena sunscreens and one of Aveeno. Walliser’s laboratory after alarming levels of benzene were found. and filed a petition with the FDA.
Sunscreen recall: what the discovery of cancer-causing chemical means to you
CVS Health and coppertone Similar findings led to many voluntarily discontinuing sales of sunscreen or after-sun care products. Light said to the best of his knowledge that other sunscreens and after-sun cosmetics, which also tested positive for the toxin, remain on the market.
“There may be no safe level of benzene present in sunscreen products,” said Dr. Christopher Bunick, associate professor of dermatology at Yale University. Press release those days. “Even at 0.1 ppm (parts per million) benzene in a sunscreen can expose people to extremely high amounts of nanograms of benzene.”
However, most of the sunscreens tested, free from benzene, and experts emphasize Importance of using sunscreen To protect the skin from aging and the effects of sun cancer.
Sunscreens Tested by Vallisur were only a small sample of more than 11,000 registered sun care products in the market,

In response to Valizer’s petition on sunscreen, the FDA told Granthshala that it “evaluates and evaluates the information provided in these types of citizen petitions and, generally, begins an independent testing and verification process.”

In response to the new petition on antiperspirants and deodorants, the FDA said:

“The FDA is committed to helping ensure that the products we regulate are safe for use. We continually acquire new knowledge that allows us to identify and quickly address previously unknown risks. When we identify drug quality deficiencies that pose a potential risk to patients, we make every effort to understand the issues and provide our best recommendation to the public as quickly and accurately as possible. Will continue to investigate and work to ensure that such inaccuracies do not exceed permissible limits.”


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