It is true that using spray deodorants is the most comfortable and clean way to do it. We can not only apply it in the armpits but in any part of the body without complications.
But beware, aerosol products can be very harmful to your health.
Let's talk about benzene, what it is, how it got into aerosol deodorants and why we should discontinue the use of any product containing it immediately.
According to the U.S. Food And Administration (FDA), benzene has "unacceptable toxicity."
What is benzene?
Benzene is a liquid, colorless chemical that is mainly used as a solvent in the chemical and pharmaceutical industry. It is also used as an initial and intermediate product in the synthesis of numerous chemicals, and in gasoline.
Benzene exists naturally in the environment, due to pollution. In fact, the greatest exposure to benzene comes from the air, thanks to wildfires, car exhausts, and gasoline from gas stations. Benzene in cigarette smoke is also a major source of exposure.
Benzene is created with both natural and artificial processes and according to the CDC can trick the body's cells into functioning improperly.
Benzene was recently detected in some of the most popular deodorants & antiperspirants sold in American retail stores. These products had to be withdrawn from the market, due to the danger that this substance represents for health.
Which deodorants were removed of the shelves?
One hundred and eight batches of products from 30 different brands were tested for benzene, per Valisure's report, and 54% of the batches contained at least some of the chemical. A batch of Old Spice's Pure Sport antiperspirant contained the most benzene.
Some batches of antiperspirant and deodorant sprays from brands including Old Spice, Secret, Equate, Suave, Tag, Sure, Right Guard and Brut contain unsafe levels of benzene, a carcinogen, according to a report from an independent pharmaceutical testing company Valisure.
The researchers were not sure how benzene found its way into these products, but they surmised that it could be coming from the processing of ingredients like butane or propellants inside the sprays.
These are some of the products that were recalled. If you still have any of them you should discard it and stop using it as soon as possible:
- Old Spice High Endurance AP Spray Pure Sport
- Old Spice Hardest Working Collection Invisible Spray Stronger Swagger
- Old Spice Hardest Working Collection Spray Invisible Pure Sport Plus
- Old Spice Hardest Working Collection Spray Invisible Stronger Swagger
- Old Spice Hardest Working Collection Spray Invisible Ultimate Captain
- Old Spice Below Deck Powder Spray Unscented
- Old Spice Below Deck Powder Spray Fresh Air
- Secret Aerosol Powder Fresh Paquete Doble
- Secret Aerosol Powder Fresh
- Secret Fresh Collection Spray Invisible Nenúfar
- Secret Fresh Collection Spray Invisible Lavanda
- Secret Fresh Collection Spray Invisible Light Essentials
- Secret Fresh Collection Spray Invisible Rosa
- Secret Outlast Invisible Spray Completely Clean
- Secret Outlast Invisible Spray Protecting Powder
- Set de regalo Old Spice Pure Sport 2021
- Tag Midnight, Fine Fragrance Body Spray, Long Lasting Scent
- Tag Sport, Dominate, Fine Fragrance, Body Spray, Long Lasting Scent
- Equate Dry Spray, Cucumber
- Sure Lasts All Day, Unscented, Aerosol
- Brut Classic, 24 HR Protection
- Right Guard Sport, Fresh, Up to 48 HR Odor Protection
What are the effects of benzene and what is the safe dose?
According to CDC "Benzene can cause blood cancers like leukemia. Workers may be harmed from exposure to benzene. The level of exposure depends upon the dose, duration, and work being done."
Benzene is defined as a carcinogen and its main exposure routes into our bodies are through inhalation, skin absorption, ingestion, skin, and/or eye contact. The Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has warned that no amount of benzene is safe for use in personal care products.
The link between benzene and cancer has largely focused on leukemia and other cancers of blood cells like:
- Acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL)
- Acute myeloid leukemia (AML)
- Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL)
- Chronic myeloid leukemia (CML)
- Myelodysplastic Syndrome (MDS)
- Non-Hodgkin lymphoma
- Multiple myeloma
- Aplastic anemia
Symptoms and immediate signs after being exposed to Benzene
According to the CDC people who breathe in high levels of benzene may develop the following signs and symptoms within minutes to several hours:
- Rapid or irregular heartbeat
- Death (at very high levels)
If people consume food or drinks contaminated with benzene, they may have the following symptoms:
- Irritation of the stomach
- Rapid or irregular heartbeat
- Death (at very high levels)
What are the long-term consequences of being exposed to benzene?
According to CDC the major effect of benzene from long-term exposure is on the blood. Benzene causes harmful effects on the bone marrow and can cause a decrease in red blood cells, leading to anemia. It can also cause excessive bleeding and can affect the immune system, increasing the chance for infection.
Some women who breathed high levels of benzene for many months had irregular menstrual periods and a decrease in the size of their ovaries. It is not known whether benzene exposure affects the developing fetus in pregnant women or fertility in men.
Animal studies have shown low birth weights, delayed bone formation, and bone marrow damage when pregnant animals breathed benzene.
The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has determined that benzene causes cancer in humans. Long-term exposure to high levels of benzene in the air can cause leukemia, cancer of the blood-forming organs.
How to prevent benzene from entering our body?
To reduce exposure to benzene it is recommended to avoid inhaling fuels and exposure to tobacco smoke.
Check the ingredients of the products you consume, especially if they are intended to be in contact with the skin and mucous membranes. Discontinue the use of spray deodorants and antiperspirants, as well as creams and sunscreens.
Start using stick antiperspirants (as Duradry) and creams made with natural ingredients.
A balanced diet can facilitate the metabolization of benzene.