Unilever Pays $2 M to Resolve Suave Aerosol Benzene Suit

Body Spray Deodorant Unilever Benzene Story Adobe Stock 185735509
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According to an April 17, 2024, report by Top Class Actions, Unilever has agreed to pay $2 million to settle a class action suit alleging some of its Suave brand products were contaminated with benezene, a known human carcinogen. A final hearing is scheduled for September. Per the settlement terms, class members can claim a refund for eligible products purchased.

See related: Valisure Finds High Levels of Benzene in Acne Products; PCPC Remains Skeptical

The complaint was filed on Nov. 18, 2021, in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, by plaintiffs Yvonne Barnes and Patricia Dean. They claim the Suave 24-hr Protection Powder Aerosol Antiperspirant was defective because it contained benzene and Unilever did not disclose this on product labeling. 

Unilever recalled these products in 2022, although this suit alleges consumers still may have been exposed to benzene. The products affected include Suave 24-hr Protection Powder Aerosol Antiperspirant and Fresh Aerosol Antiperspirant products sold between Jan. 1, 2018, and March 7, 2024.

OpenClassActions stated Unilever internal reports identified some of their Suave deodorant sprays "contained higher levels of benzene than expected." Per one law firm, third party testing by Valisure found benzene concentrations of 5.21 ppm in the Suave 24-hr Protection Powder Aerosol; 2.6 times that of the FDA concentration limit.

Notably, in its recall, Unilever stated that benzene was not an ingredient in any of the recalled products; rather, the unexpected levels of benzene came from the propellant used.

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