More than a MILLION Americans use dry shampoos that may contain cancer-causing chemicals, including brands like Dove, TRESemmé, and Nexxus
- Unilever recalled more than 1.5 million products last week because they may contain elevated levels of benzene
- Applicable goods are dry shampoo aerosol products made from household brands before October 2021
- They include several lines of Dove, Nexxus, Suave, TRESemmé and TIGI (Rockaholic and Bed Head)
- Recall that affected the US market followed a similar recall in Canada that affected more than 1 million products
More than a million Americans may have been exposed to a cancer-causing chemical in household brand dry shampoos.
Unilever recalled more than 1.5 million products last week because they may contain elevated levels of benzene, a human carcinogen strongly linked to leukemia and other blood disorders.
The goods concerned are dry shampoo aerosol products made before October 2021 from the brands Dove, Nexxus, Suave, TRESemmé and TIGI (Rockaholic and Bed Head).
People who bought the shampoos — that are listed in full on the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) website — must stop using it and visit for refund instructions.
Public goods conglomerate Unilever has withdrawn 19 dry shampoos from the US market, totaling more than a million products, after it discovered carcinogenic benzene in the products.
WHAT PRODUCTS ARE INFLUENCED?
• Dove Dry Shampoo Volume and fullness
• Dove Dry Shampoo Fresh Coconut
• Dove Dry Shampoo Fresh and Floral
• Dove Dry Shampoo Ultra Clean
• Dove Dry Shampoo Invisible
• Dove Dry Shampoo Detoxify and Purify
• Dove Dry Shampoo Brightening Charcoal
• Dove Dry Shampoo Go Active
• Nexxus Dry Shampoo Refreshing Mist
• Nexxus Inergy Foam Shampoo
• Suave Dry Shampoo Hair Freshener
• 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 Head Dirty Secret Dry Shampoo
• Bed Head Rockaholic Dirty Secret Dry Shampoo
The household goods conglomerate said it had not received any reports of “side effects” related to benzene exposure in the products and an internal investigation had found no evidence that the concentrations of benzene in the affected products had caused health problems.
But the company went ahead with the recall “out of great caution.”
Unilever identified the propellant in the spray as the culprit.
Butane, a petroleum product, is a commonly used propellant in aerosol cans. If not refined properly, the resulting gas may contain other components from the crude oil, such as benzene.
Benzene – the cancer-causing chemical found in millions of dry shampoos
Benzene is a cancer-causing chemical, also known as a carcinogen, that is widely used in manufacturing in the US.
It is used in making plastic, nylon, rubbers, paint and adhesive products.
It can also be found in tobacco smoke, motor vehicle exhaust and industrial emissions.
Long-term exposure to the chemical has been linked to severe damage to a person’s blood.
In has been linked to blood cancers such as leukemia and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
The chemical has also been linked to anemia.
Inhaling or absorbing benzene for a long time can have devastating health effects, as it causes the cells in the body to malfunction.
Long-term exposure can lead to leukemia and various blood disorders.
Excessive exposure to benzene can also prevent the bone marrow from making enough red blood cells, which can lead to anemia.
It can also wreak havoc on the immune system by altering blood levels of antibodies and killing white blood cells.
Short-term inhalation of high concentrations of benzene can cause a variety of adverse effects, including dizziness, headache, irregular heartbeat and, in certain serious circumstances, death.
Despite the risks associated with it, benzene is ubiquitous. It is present in cigarette smoke, gasoline, glue and paint.
Benzene is also crucial for the development of certain plastics, rubbers, nylon, synthetic fibers, resins, dyes, pesticides and detergents.
Recalls about benzene contamination are not unprecedented. In fact, a whole range of nebulized products, including deoderants, conditioners and sunscreens have been recalled in the past two years about possible contamination.
The dry shampoo recall is the second recall of possible benzene contamination released by Unilever this year.
In March, the company drawn two Suave 24-hour protection aerosol antiperspirants from the market after an internal review discovered the presence of benzene in some product samples.
Last year, Procter & Gamble recalled 32 dry shampoo and conditioner products after discovering benzene in some of them.
It was one of more than six recalls of products contaminated with the cancer-causing chemical.
Also last year, Johnson & Johnson issued a recall for five of its aerosol sunscreens after they found trace amounts of benzene.