A proposed class action claims certain Old Spice and Secret body sprays are “in no way safe for humans” given the products contain a known carcinogen.
According to the 25-page case, The Procter & Gamble Company has failed to disclose on Old Spice and Secret labels that the body sprays contain benzene, exposure to which the lawsuit says can cause severe health issues such as anemia, immune system damage and cancer.
The lawsuit alleges consumers would not have purchased the Old Spice and Secret products (listed below), or would have paid less for them, had they known the body sprays contained benzene.
According to the suit, Procter & Gamble markets ithe Old Spice and Secret products in a way designed to appeal to health-conscious consumers. Nevertheless, the defendant has omitted from the products’ labels—i.e., “the one place that every consumer looks when purchasing a product”—that cancer-causing benzene is among the body sprays’ ingredients, the lawsuit alleges. Moreover, P&G’s website represents specifically that benzene is not used in any of the company’s products, according to the complaint.
The suit relays, however, that online pharmacy and analytical laboratory Valisure LLC recently published a study that revealed that a slew of body sprays, including some batches of the Old Spice and Secret products listed at the bottom of this page, were found to contain benzene. Although the case claims research has confirmed that “there is no safe level of benzene exposure,” Valisure reportedly found that some Old Spice and Secret body sprays contained as much as 16.1 to 17.1 parts per million (ppm) of the substance.
The lawsuit notes that benzene exposure from body sprays is “especially troubling” given the spray is applied directly to a wearer’s skin and is likely to be breathed in and absorbed into the lungs.
“Thus, even a relatively low concentration limit can result in very high total benzene exposure,” the complaint attests.
The lawsuit alleges Procter & Gamble’s “false and misleading” representations and omissions concerning the Old Spice and Secret body sprays have caused consumers to unknowingly buy products that are “entirely worthless”:
“When consumers look at the Products’ packaging there is no mention of benzene. Benzene is not listed in the ingredients section, nor is there any warning about the inclusion (or even potential inclusion) of benzene in the Products. This leads reasonable consumers to believe the Products do not contain dangerous chemicals like benzene. However, despite this, the Products contain benzene.”
The Old Spice and Secret body sprays alleged to contain benzene include:
Old Spice - Pure Sport;
Old Spice - Below Deck, Powder Spray, Feel Drier & Cleaner, Down Below, Fresh Air;
Secret - Out Last, Protecting Powder, 48 HR Sweat & Odor, Protection, Dry Spray.
The lawsuit aims to represent anyone who purchased the aforementioned products in the U.S. during the applicable statute of limitations period, and looks to require P&G to implement a testing and medical monitoring program to test for the presence of benzene in proposed class members’ blood and monitor them for any adverse health effects.
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