Old Spice and Secret Carcinogen Recall

AUTHOR: A.J. Bruning | December 23, 2021
Old Spice and Secret Carcinogen Recall

With so many recalls taking place, it is hard to keep track of the ones that may affect you.

From foods to automobiles, medications, and personal products, many consumer products can pose a risk to your health. Manufacturers must keep the public safe from harm from any dangerous or defective product they sell.

When there is evidence that a product may cause harm to consumers, many companies will issue a recall of those products. While a recall does the job of getting the product out of the hands of consumers in the immediate moment, it cannot undo the harm already caused by the product’s use before the recall.

What Is a Product Recall?

Product recalls happen all of the time. You may read or hear them on the news. From time to time, concerns or immediate danger prompts a product recall. Recalls alert consumers that they may possess a dangerous item or product.

In some circumstances, the government agency responsible for oversight of that category of products will issue a mandatory product recall, such as the FDA (Food and Drug Administration), CPSC (Consumer Protection Safety Commission), or the NHTSA (National Highway Safety and Traffic Safety Administration).

Most often, a mandatory recall will happen after there is an investigation of the claims of injury by the government agency. However, in some situations, the manufacturers of the product themselves will institute a voluntary recall.

Why Would a Company Recall its Products?

Government mandatory recalls are not instantaneous and often there is much bureaucracy and time that it will take from the moment there is a potential danger identified or linked to a product and alerting consumers of the potential danger the product poses.

In some situations, it is the manufacturer that becomes aware of a pattern of injuries or concerns revolving around the product that comes from the consumers, researchers, or internally within the company. In some cases, the investigating government agency may also pressure the manufacturer to alert consumers of danger regarding one of their products and publish a voluntary recall.

During a voluntary recall, a manufacturer will communicate to consumers the potential dangers of their product and what specific products are under recall. By alerting the consumers, the manufacturers attempt to limit their liability for any issues that may then arise from their products.

However, for many consumers, the notice comes too late. If exposure to the product before a recall causes injury or raises the risk of future health concerns or the development of a condition, the company is still likely liable to the consumer.

What Procter & Gamble Products Are Under the Recent Recall?

Recently P&G issued a voluntary recall of certain products in their Old Spice and Secret line. The company publication of the recall and announcement was on November 23, 2021. In the announcement, the company identifies the potential presence of benzene in their aerosol products as the trigger for the recall. The voluntary recall includes all aerosol products under each of the Old Spice and Secret brand names.

The Voluntary Recall for the Presence of Benzene by P&G includes:

  • Old Spice High Endurance AP Spray Pure Sport
  • Old Spice Hardest Working Collection Inv Spray Stronger Swagger
  • Old Spice Hardest Working Collection Inv Spray Pure Sport Plus
  • Old Spice Below Deck Powder Spray Unscented
  • Old Spice Hardest Working Collection Inv Spray Ult Captain
  • Old Spice Below Deck Powder Spray Fresh Air
  • Old Spice Pure Sport 2021 Gift Set
  • Secret Aerosol Powder Fresh
  • Secret Fresh Collection Inv Spray Waterlily
  • Secret Fresh Collection Inv Spray Light Essentials
  • Secret Fresh Collection Inv Spray Lavender
  • Secret Fresh Collection Inv Spray Rose
  • Secret Outlast Inv Spray Protecting Powder
  • Secret Outlast Inv Spray Completely Clean

What Is a Carcinogen?

As part of their voluntary recall, P&G mentions that benzene is a known carcinogen that can cause cancer and other life-threatening health conditions. A carcinogen is any substance that causes cancer.

Exposure to a carcinogen does not automatically mean that a person will develop cancer or another health condition, but it does elevate the individual’s risk and if the exposure continues over a prolonged time, the risk continues to rise.

What Is Benzene, and Why Is It in These Products?

P&G’s recall specifically calls out the detection of benzene as the cause of concern for consumers. Benzene can occur naturally or can be a byproduct or incorporated into the manufacturing of certain products or to make other chemicals. Manufacturers use benzene to make products like plastics, nylons, deodorants, detergents, pesticides, and other common consumer goods.

The consumption of benzene is dangerous and can cause serious health conditions and disease. Manufacturers that use benzene in personal products such as drugs, deodorants, and detergents where direct exposure to humans will occur are risking the health of their consumers.

Benzene is a known carcinogen, yet these manufacturers continue to incorporate its use in the manufacturing processes, such as in the manufacturing of Old Spice and Secret aerosol deodorant products.

Can Old Spice and Secret Cause Cancer?

With the revelation that Old Spice and Secret contain benzene, a carcinogen, many consumers that use these products are likely worried about the impacts of the products on their health. There has been no known association between either of these deodorants and a cancer diagnosis to date.

However, it is likely too soon to know the extent of impact the prolonged use of these products on an individual’s health will be. Benzene is a known carcinogen hazardous to the health of humans. Continuous use of these products containing benzene can raise your cancer risk and create other possible health problems due to the properties and effects of this chemical.

The Potential Consequences of Benzene Exposure

Exposure to benzene can happen in various circumstances, such as hazardous work conditions, smoking tobacco products, environmental conditions, or more commonly, the use of certain consumer products.

An individual’s exposure to benzene can occur by breathing it in, by mouth or through the skin. In the case of an aerosol deodorant such as Old Spice or Secret, the exposure to the consumer can occur two-fold. An individual using a benzene-containing product can inhale fumes or chemicals during the application of the product to the body and the product can seep through the skin, affecting an individual’s health.

Benzene is a dangerous substance and the amount of time of the exposure in combination with the level of absorption by an individual of the substance will influence how severe the reaction will be. The chemical can affect your entire central nervous system, your overall immune system, and your bone marrow

According to the CDC, the health effects of benzene exposure on a person can include:

  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Elevated heart rate
  • Tremors or seizures
  • Confusion
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Gastrointestinal distress
  • Skin irritation
  • Menstrual irregularities
  • Development of anemia
  • Increase of infection risk
  • Development of cancer such as leukemia
  • Death or coma

Do Other Products on the Market Contain This Carcinogen?

Several consumer personal products contain benzene on the market. Analysis of various products can find that benzene is present in certain brands of products that users apply to their skin or consume. Old Spice and Secret are some of the most recent brand names where analysis reveals the presence of the chemicals in their products.

Other types of products where the consumer could have benzene exposure include sunscreen, hand sanitizer, and medication. Some other brands that have links to benzene in their products include Neutrogena, CVS Health, Sun Bum, Fruit of the Earth, and several others.

Can You Sue For Damages From an Old Spice or Secret Injury?

If you develop cancer or other symptoms of benzene damage after using products that contain benzene, you may seek compensation.

After a cancer diagnosis, you may be in shock and unsure what steps to take next.

Focus on fighting your cancer battle and getting the medical care and treatment you need to give you the highest possibility of recovery. The development of cancer from possible benzene exposure also gives rise to potential legal rights you may have against the manufacturers of these products.

If you are a consumer using Old Spice or Secret products that develops cancer, you may have a right to compensation for your damages and losses. A lawsuit against the manufacturers of Old Spice or Secret products can help you pay for your medical expenses, loss of income, or future impacts of your diagnosis and treatment for cancer.

What Damages Could You Be Eligible for in an Old Spice or Secret Recall Case?

A lawsuit against a manufacturer of a dangerous or defective product such as these deodorants with cancer-causing agents can allow you to recover for losses that you incur as a result of the injuries you sustain and the aftermath of your illness or injury. If you develop cancer because of the benzene in an Old Spice or Secret product, you can be eligible for compensation that includes both monetary and non-monetary damages.

Damages in a product liability case can include:

  • Medical expenses - The money for the treatment of your illness and injury as well as the follow-ups and rehabilitation you may need in the future are recoverable in a product liability case. Cancer is often a lifelong battle. Cancer survivors must face not only their initial diagnosis and treatment but also future scans and follow-ups to maintain their health and follow any signs of progression or new developments.
  • Lost wages - If you develop cancer, cannot maintain the same dedication to your job. Doctor’s appointments, surgery, chemotherapy, and other treatments will take up much of your time and energy. You may lose wages or your ability to grow your income due to the challenges you face. These losses may be recoverable damages in your case.
  • Pain and suffering - The development of cancer and treatment can be painful, uncomfortable, and cause you both mental and emotional distress. In a personal injury lawsuit, you may be eligible to recover for these losses against the parties responsible for your injury or illness.
  • Punitive damages - Not every personal injury case will give rise to punitive damages, but if you suffer an illness or injury because of the blatant and egregious actions of a manufacturer, your case may be eligible for punitive damages. This category of losses is only in the most serious cases where a trial proves a manufacturer takes actions to conceal dangers to consumers and fails to recall products that have the potential to cause harm to the public.

What Should You Do If You Develop Cancer After Using an Old Spice or Secret Product?

If you develop cancer after using Old Spice or a Secret product, you may have a case against the manufacturer of these products. While you must first turn your attention to beginning treatment after a cancer diagnosis, you should contact a personal injury attorney as soon as possible to discuss your case.

A personal injury attorney with experience in product liability cases can help you by evaluating your case, discussing your cancer diagnosis, and discovering the potential liability for your illness or injury. A lawyer can investigate your case to determine whether your use of spray-on deodorants such as Old Spice or Secret may have led to your cancer diagnosis.

A.J. Bruning


I was born and raised to represent individuals who have been needlessly injured. I mean that literally. At a young age my father would tell me about the clients he was representing. I would meet them and take pride in their admiration of my father. I always knew I wanted to be a lawyer and represent clients that needed my help.

Author's Bio

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