Dry Shampoo Recalled for Containing Benzene

woman spraying dry shampoo in her hair

A brunette sprays an aerosol can at her hair as she tilt her head forward.

In October, the multibillion-dollar consumer goods company Unilever announced a recall for several of its aerosol dry shampoo products because the shampoos may contain the cancer-causing chemical, benzene. Dove, Suave, and Nexxus brand dry shampoos, among others, were affected by the recall.

Unilever directed its customers to stop using dry shampoos produced by the affected brands before October of 2021. The British-based company also explained how consumers can get a refund for the tainted shampoos.

What is Benzene?

Benzene is a colorless carcinogenic chemical that pollutes the air at very low levels, mainly from things like industrial emissions, cigarette smoke, and automobile emissions. While the low levels found in the air do not pose a problem for most people, regular and repeated exposure can cause serious health complications. Benzine over the level of 2 parts per million is generally not allowed by the FDA,

Individuals can be exposed to benzine either through inhalation or by direct exposure to the skin. Exposure to high levels of benzene can result in:

  • Dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Headaches
  • Drowsiness

In rare but extreme cases, high levels of benzene exposure can even lead to death. These symptoms and others like them can be even more harmful to women who are pregnant.

Additionally, long-term exposure to benzene can cause cancer. Leukemia, which is cancer to the blood-forming organs of the body, is perhaps the most common type of cancer caused by benzene exposure.

Other Carcinogenic-Related Recalls

While it is tragic that Unilever has been selling products contaminated by a carcinogen, they are not the only company to have done so. In recent years, Proctor and Gamble have had to recall many aerosol hair care products because of benzene contamination. Both of these companies are facing dry shampoo lawsuits and class actions over their dry shampoo products.

Cosmetic company L’Oréal is currently facing lawsuits over hair relaxers that allege that some of its products increase a user’s risk of developing uterine cancer and other endocrine-related issues.

What to Do if You Have Been Exposed to Benzene in a Consumer Product

If you are experiencing symptoms and you have been exposed to benzene or some other carcinogen in a Unilever product (or from a product made and sold by any other consumer goods company), the first thing you should do is seek medical attention as soon as possible. The sooner you can get medical care, the better.

It is also a good idea to keep records and documentation of your medical journey. Even keeping receipts from your purchases can be helpful later on if you were, in fact, exposed to benzene or another harmful chemical.