Dozens of antiperspirant sprays tested positive for the carcinogenic chemical benzene.
Valisure, an independent laboratory based in New Haven, Connecticut, tested 108 batches of body sprays under 30 brand-names. More than half tested positive for benzene.
Benzene was found in 59 batches (54%), with the highest amounts of benzene in Old Spice and Secret antiperspirant sprays. The list includes products sold under the following brands:
- Old Spice
- Walmart’s Equate
- Right Guard
- Summer’s Eve
- Power Stick
- Soft & Dri
- Victoria’s Secret
On November 9, Valisure sent the FDA a petition demanding recalls for dozens of products with high levels of benzene.
The CEO of Valisure, David Light, explained that butane is the likely source of benzene in the products: “Butane is lighter fluid. Propane is the same thing you use to light your grill. These gases come out of the ground, as benzene does as well. Benzene is a known contaminant of these products. It seems likely these propellants are the source.”
Deodorant sprays have now joined a growing list of consumer products that may be contaminated with benzene. In recent months, benzene has also been found in many sunscreen sprays and anti-fungal foot sprays, such as Lotrimin and Tinactin.