Hundreds of personal care items among which premium brands such as Brut, Pantene, Coppertone and Old Spice are being recalled from the market on findings from research lab Valisure that many personal care products contain highly carcinogenic benzene sometimes at “life-threatening” levels.
Currently Valisure has tested 662 items and found the chemical in 180, approximately 27% of the products, leading companies such as Procter Gamble, Bayer, CVS and Johnson and Johnson to issue voluntary recalls of products.
“Benzene really shouldn’t be there at all,” Valisure CEO David Light told the Guardian. “What we’re seeing is a fundamental problem in the manufacturing of a lot of consumer products.”
The highest frequency of benzene contamination was in body sprays, including deodorants and anti-perspirants with the highest levels found in the brands, Sure, Old Spice, Secret, Equate, Right Guard and Brut.
“There is probably no safe level of exposure to benzene, and all exposures constitute some risk in a linear, if not supralinear, and additive fashion,” notes 2010 review of benzene research.