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Sure, Brut Deodorants Recalled Over Cancer Risk

Elevated levels of benzene detected in some sprays

product images of brut and sure deodorant and antiperspirant that have been recalled

Courtesy Brut/Sure

En español

Six Sure and Brut brand aerosol sprays are being voluntarily recalled after unexpected levels of a cancer-causing chemical, benzene, were detected. Although benzene is not an ingredient in the deodorants, testing showed the chemical, which can occur naturally, was present in the propellant that sprays the deodorant out of the can. ​ ​​

​To date, there have been no reports of illness related to the voluntary recall ​announced on Feb. 16 by TCP HOT Acquisition LLC, which does business as HRB Brands. Prior to June 7, 2021, the Sure and Brut deodorant brands were owned and distributed by Helen of Troy Limited.​​​

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Consumers nationwide are advised to stop using the following spray deodorants if the expiration date is on or before August 2023:​

  • Brut Classic Antiperspirant Aerosol, 4 ounce​
  • Brut Classic Antiperspirant Aerosol, 6 ounce ​
  • Brut Classic Deodorant Aerosol, 154 grams (sold only in Canada)​
  • Brut Classic Deodorant Aerosol, 10 ounce​
  • Sure Antiperspirant Aerosol, 6 ounce​
  • Sure Unscented Antiperspirant Aerosol, 6 ounce​​

Retailers are being notified of the recall, and ​​consumers with questions can contact TCP HOT Acquisition LLC by calling 866-615-0976 Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. PT. They may also visit to view images of the recalled products and request a refund.​​

Anyone experiencing problems that may be related to using these products should contact their physician or health care provider, the company advised. ​​

Negative reactions or quality issues resulting from use of the sprays may also be reported to the Food and Drug Administration's MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program in the following ways:​

  • Complete and submit a report online.​
  • Regular mail or fax: Download this form or call 800-332-1088 to request a reporting form, then complete and return to the address on the preaddressed form, or submit by fax to 800-332-0178.​

In November, elevated levels of benzene were detected in some Old Spice and Secret brand aerosol deodorants.​

What are the symptoms of benzene poisoning? ​

Benzene is a colorless or light yellow liquid at room temperature that evaporates quickly into the air. Low levels of the chemical may be present in outside air from tobacco smoke, gas stations, vehicle exhaust and industrial emissions. But there are generally higher levels of benzene in indoor environments from products such as glues, paint, furniture wax and detergents, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).​

The severity of benzene poisoning depends on the amount, the way it enters the body and the length of time a person is exposed. Age and preexisting medical conditions also play a factor.​Those who inhale high levels of benzene may develop the following signs and symptoms within minutes or hours:​

  • Drowsiness​
  • Dizziness​
  • Rapid or irregular heartbeat​
  • Headaches​
  • Tremors​
  • Confusion​
  • Unconsciousness​​

Exposure to very high levels of benzene can even result in death. Those who experience symptoms of benzene poisoning are advised to go to a hospital as soon as possible.​

Long-term health effects from benzene exposure can include harm to the bone marrow and decreased red blood cells, leading to anemia. Women who inhale high levels of the toxin may develop irregular periods and shrink the size of their ovaries.​

Exposure to high levels of benzene in the air, over a year or longer, can cause leukemia and cancer of the blood-forming organs.​

Aaron Kassraie writes about issues important to military veterans and their families for AARP. He also serves as a general assignment reporter. Kassraie previously covered U.S. foreign policy as a correspondent for the Kuwait News Agency's Washington bureau and worked in news gathering for USA Today and Al Jazeera English.​

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