Unilever, one of the largest personal care manufacturers in the world, recently recalled several brands of dry shampoo. The recalled products are all aerosol dry shampoos.
Why was the shampoo recalled?
The aerosol shampoos were recalled because they may contain elevated levels of benzene. The benzene is in the propellant used in the aerosol spray.
What is benzene?
Benzene is classified as a human carcinogen. It is both a manmade and naturally occurring chemical. It has been linked to an increased risk of cancers, including leukemia and other blood cell cancers. It has also been linked to other diseases like anemia and other blood disorders, as well as compromised immune systems. Exposure to benzene can occur by inhalation, orally, or through the skin. The World Health Organization has said that there are no safe levels of exposure to benzene.
What products are included in the recall?
The recall includes 19 shampoos under the following brand names:
- Dove Dry Shampoo Volume and Fullness
- Dove Dry Dove Dry Shampoo Fresh Cocnut
- Dove Dry Shampoo Fresh and Floral
- Dove Dry Shampoo Ultra Clean
- Dove Dry Shampoo Invisible
- Dove Dry Shampoo Detox and and Purify
- Dove Dry Shampoo Clarifying Charcoal
- Dove Dry Shampoo Go Active
- Nexxus Dry Shampoo Refreshing Mist
- Nexxus Inergy Foam Shampoo
- Suave Dry Shampoo Hair Refresher
- Suave Professionals Dry Shampoo Refresh and Revive
- Tresemme Dry Shampoo Volumizing
- Tresemme Dry Shampoo Fresh and Clean
- Tresemme Pro Pure Dry Shampoo
- Bed Head Oh Bee Hive Dry Shampoo
- Bed Head Oh Bee Hive Volumizing Dry Shampoo
- Bed HeadDirty Secret Dry Shampoo
- Bed Head Rockaholic Dirty Secret Dry Shampoo
Do all dry shampoos contain benzene?
Studies suggest that many more types of dry shampoo contain elevated levels of benzene. A recent study performed by an independent lab detected elevated benzene levels in 70% of the dry shampoo it tested. One brand was found to have 340 parts per million in ten seconds of spray. The FDA has said that the acceptable level of benzene in drugs is two parts per trillion.
If you think you think you have a drug, food, or product that has been recalled, contact the FDA. The full Unilever recall notice can be read here: Unilever Issues Voluntary U.S. Recall of Select Dry Shampoos Due to Potential Presence of Benzene | FDA