Aerosol Dry Shampoos Recalled Over Benzene Concerns

Aerosol Dry Shampoos Recalled Over Benzene Concerns

In recent years, companies have recalled several products, such as sunscreen, aerosol deodorants, and cosmetic sprays, due to high levels of benzene. Several agencies have labeled the chemical benzene as a known human carcinogen that affects the blood and bone marrow of exposed individuals. On October 21, the multinational hygiene and personal care company Unilever recalled multiple brand-name dry shampoo products. Unilever announced the recall after discovering elevated levels of benzene. 

The FDA’s Stance on Benzene

Benzene is a widely used industrial chemical that is the main component in various manufactured goods, like solvents, lubricants, glues, plastics, and more. However, the FDA has advised that manufacturers should not incorporate benzene into drugs or cosmetic products. If the use of benzene in the manufacturing process is unavoidable, then the FDA has set guidelines to restrict the amount of benzene. 2 ppm is the acceptable amount of benzene in drug and cosmetic products outlined by the FDA. Despite these regulations, companies have issued countless recalls for personal care products over benzene concerns. 

Benzene Identified in an Increasing Number of Products 

In May 2021, a groundbreaking study by the independent laboratory Valisure LLC identified benzene levels exceeding FDA limits in over 50 sunscreen products. Valisure discovered benzene concentrations as high as 6 ppm in several sunscreen brands. This report prompted companies like Johnson & Johnson to recall benzene-contaminated sunscreen products. Furthermore, in July 2022, Edgewell Personal Care Company recalled batches of Banana Boat sunscreen after identifying unacceptable amounts of benzene.

Yet, the benzene problem does not stop at sunscreen products. Procter & Gamble recalled 18 types of Old Spice and Secret aerosol deodorants that contained high benzene levels in November 2021. Similar to the sunscreen recall, this P&G aerosol deodorant recall spurred numerous lawsuits. In April 2022, the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation consolidated P&G benzene deodorant claims into a multidistrict litigation. 

Unilever Issues Dry Shampoo Recall Due to Benzene 

Unilever produces various consumer goods, including aerosol antiperspirants and dry shampoos. In April 2022, Unilever recalled two kinds of Suave 24-Hour Aerosol Antiperspirant sprays over elevated benzene levels. The company conducted an internal investigation that concluded the benzene originated from the propellant that sprays the antiperspirant out of the container. 

Only six months later, Unilever voluntarily recalled select lot codes for its dry shampoo products produced before October 2021. The affected aerosol shampoo products include: 

  • Dove
  • Nexxus
  • Suave
  • TIGI (Rockaholic and Bed Head)
  • TRESemmé

Like the antiperspirant recall back in April, Unilever’s inspection revealed the propellant is the source of the benzene problem in the aerosol dry shampoo products. You can find a full list of the products impacted by this recall here

How Our Law Firm Can Help You 

Exposure to benzene can occur through skin contact, inhalation, or orally. Prolonged exposure to benzene at levels above the FDA specifications can result in adverse health complications like leukemia and blood disorders. Today, products such as aerosol deodorants, antiperspirants, dry shampoos, and sunscreens present a risk of benzene exposure to consumers. Have you or a loved one suffered due to benzene exposure? Our reliable team of attorneys is on standby to speak with you about your potential benzene lawsuit.