Along with toothpaste, your deodorant or antiperspirant of choice is probably one of the only personal grooming products you use every single day. And whether you’re getting ready for the day or freshening up after a workout session, a quick spritz from the can or swipe of the stick can help keep you smelling fresh for much longer between showers. But before you start on your next morning routine, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a new warning about several products you should know about. Read on to see if you’re using an item that could potentially be hazardous to your health.
On March 30, the FDA announced that Unilever was voluntarily recalling two types of antiperspirant and deodorant from its lineup. The affected products are marked with an expiration date through September 2023. They include Suave 24-Hour Protection Aerosol Antiperspirant Powder in both 4-ounce and 6-ounce formats with the UPC 079400751508 and 079400784902, respectively, and Suave 24-Hour Protection Aerosol Antiperspirant Fresh 6-ounce cans with the UPC 079400785503.
While the products were discontinued for non-health-related reasons in October 2021, lingering inventory was still in stock at various online retailers and brick-and-mortar shops. The FDA specifies that no other Unilever or Suave products are affected by the recall.
The agency says it initiated the recall after an internal review discovered that some of the affected products might contain benzene. Even though it’s not used as an ingredient in antiperspirants, the chemical was found in the propellant used to spray the product out of the can.
“Benzene is classified as a human carcinogen. Exposure to benzene can occur by inhalation, orally, and through the skin, and it can result in cancers including leukemia and blood cancer of the bone marrow and blood disorders which can be life-threatening,” the recall notice states.
But the FDA notice also points out that people are typically exposed to benzene every day from other sources. “Based on an independent health hazard evaluation, daily exposure to benzene in the recalled products at the levels detected in testing would not be expected to cause adverse health consequences.”
According to the FDA’s notice, anyone who purchased the affected products should stop using them immediately and throw them away as soon as possible. In addition, the agency urges anyone who believes they may have experienced an adverse reaction from using the product to contact their doctor or healthcare provider.
Customers with questions about the recall or obtaining a refund for the products can call Unilever at (866) 204-9756 on weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. EST. More information can also be found online by visiting www.suaverecall.com.
Unilever’s latest recall isn’t the only time recently that major companies have pulled products from the shelves after discovering they contained benzene. In February, HRB Brands voluntarily recalled certain types of Sure and Brut deodorants and antiperspirants from its lineup due to benzene contamination. And in November, The Procter & Gamble Company issued a voluntary recall of 18 Old Spice and Secret antiperspirant products after it was discovered they might contain benzene.