RECALL: Carcinogen Present in Dry Shampoos

There is a new U.S. recall of several popular brands of dry shampoo due to the presence of benzene*–a known carcinogen.**  Like similar recent recalls of personal care products containing benzene, the issue is with the aerosol sprays rather than the products themselves.  Unilever announced the recall for 19 dry shampoo aerosol products from the brands Dove, Suave, and TRESemmé. Go here for a full listing of the recalled products.

dry shapoos recalled

* Benzene is a popular industrial chemical in the U.S. and is often used in the manufacturing of plastics, lubricants, dyes and detergents. Benzene is a known carcinogen according to the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

From our book The Food Hackers Handbook:

Sensitive individuals may react to benzene (and its chemical cousin, popular food and product preservative benzoate) with allergic reactions, skin reactions including urticaria, pruritus and atopic dermatitis, and intestinal disturbances such as gastritis, nasal polyps, rhinitis, migraine headaches and arthralgia, shortness of breath, broncoconstriction, asthma, as well as experiencing behavioral and mood reactions.

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** In early November 2022, independent laboratory Valisure sent a citizen petition to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA Citizen Petition) in which the lab described that among 148 batches from 34 different brands of dry shampoo products, 70% of samples tested showed “quantifiable” levels of benzene. According to their report, 11 samples showed levels over 10 times more than 2 parts per million (ppm), the FDA limit for drugs. Three lots of dry shampoo products from one brand contained spray with more than 100 ppm of benzene, according to the petition, and some samples tested by Valisure showed more than 10 times the FDA drug limit. The petition also mentions that Valisure has detected benzene in other commonly used products as well, including certain hand sanitizers and sunscreens. (source)