Benzene behind latest shampoo recall is a big drawback, scientist says

Unilever remembers dry shampoo over most cancers threat

Unilever points dry shampoo recall over most cancers threat


Unilever is recalling dry shampoo aerosol merchandise offered nationwide as a result of they might comprise elevated ranges of benzene, a human carcinogen. The recall is the latest of half a dozen to date this year, with the cancer-causing chemical displaying up in merchandise together with deodorant, hand sanitizer and sunscreen.

People ought to take the benzene-related remembers critically, as they contain a much more harmful contaminant than most, based on David Light, CEO of Valisure, an impartial lab in New Haven, Connecticut, that alerted the Food and Drug Administration to its findings of benzene in sunscreen sprays final year. 

“Benzene is such a bad molecule — it’s at the very top of the FDA’s list of 70-some solvents not to use,” Light informed CBS MoneyWatch, including that not like with some chemical substances, “there’s no argument about whether or not it causes cancer in human beings.”

That’s to not say anybody who has used one of many recalled merchandise will get most cancers, emphasised Light, a biotech entrepreneur and scientist. Still, “Benzene should not be confused with a lot of other areas of concern. This is a very problematic compound, and it shouldn’t be ignored,” he stated. 

“Even small amounts constitute big action,” added Light, citing the worldwide recall that ensued after benzene was present in bottles of Perrier mineral water greater than three a long time in the past. 

The latest recall consists of dry shampoo aerosol merchandise made earlier than October 2021 from manufacturers Dove, Nexxus, Suave, TIGI (Rockaholic and Bed Head), and TRESemmé, the company stated in a notice printed final week by the FDA. (See here for a full listing of recalled merchandise and UPC codes.)

An inside probe by Unilever recognized the propellant because the supply, and the company labored with its propellant suppliers to deal with the problem, it acknowledged. 

People who bought the affected aerosol dry shampoo merchandise ought to cease utilizing them and go to for reimbursement directions. 

Photo of some merchandise recalled by Unilever.

U.S. Food and Drug Administration

The recall is the second this year for Unilever involving a product probably containing benzene. The conglomerate sells roughly 400 merchandise across the globe, from Ben & Jerry’s ice cream to Hellmann’s mayonnaise.

Exposure to benzene can lead to cancers together with leukemia and blood most cancers of the blood marrow, in addition to life-threatening blood issues. Daily publicity to benzene within the recalled merchandise on the ranges detected in testing “would not be expected to cause adverse health consequences,” Unilever stated.

Commonly discovered chemical

One of probably the most generally made chemical substances within the U.S., benzene is current in gasoline and cigarette smoke, based on the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. People are most sometimes uncovered by respiratory the chemical within the air, however they’ll additionally take up it into their our bodies by touching petroleum merchandise, or by consuming or ingesting contaminated meals or drinks. 

Unilever in late March recalled two Suave 24-hour safety aerosol antiperspirants after an inside evaluate discovered barely elevated ranges of benzene in some samples. 

Four different firms have recalled merchandise this year after discovering benzene in samples, and greater than half a dozen remembers got here for a similar cause final year

In December, for example, Procter & Gamble recalled aerosol dry shampoo and conditioner spray merchandise from six manufacturers offered nationwide after discovering benzene in a few of them. 

But benzene is not the one cancer-causing chemical elevating concern for customers and makers of personal-care merchandise. 

A lawsuit filed Friday towards L’Oreal alleges that chemical substances within the French company’s hair straighteners induced a girl’s uterine most cancers. The swimsuit over “phthalates and other endocrine disrupting chemicals” got here days after a study linking using such merchandise to uterine most cancers.

L’Oreal didn’t provide an instantaneous response to the swimsuit.

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