Over 19 dry shampoo products are recalled over high levels of a cancer-causing ingredient. The aerosol sprays contained a dangerous amount of benzene, “a human carcinogen,” according to a release made by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Popular hair care brands like Dove, Nexxus, and Suave landed on the list as their products are being removed from shelves nationwide.
The chemical is used within hair products as a “‘building block’ for other chemicals”, according to The Washington Post. In a broader sense, benzene is typically used in household items like glue and cleaning products, says the Wisconsin Department of Health Services. The announcement made by the FDA dives into the dangerous effects of daily exposure to benzene. In extreme cases, the chemical can cause “cancers including leukemia and blood cancer of the bone marrow, blood disorders.” Though there have been no direct reports of adverse health conditions from the products, Unilever, a consumer goods company, continued to recall the dry shampoos “out of an abundance of caution.”
Additionally, the dangers of benzene and how it can come in contact with users are as easy as spraying the product. The American Cancer Society says, “The main way people are exposed is by breathing in air containing benzene.” An article published by CNET, an online publication, discusses the problem more. David Light, CEO of Valisure, a healthcare laboratory, says in the piece, "The detection of high levels of benzene in dry shampoos should be cause for significant concern since these products are likely used indoors, where benzene may linger and be inhaled for prolonged periods.”
Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time an outbreak like this has occurred. CNET released another article noting the recurrence of benzene in similar self-care products. In addition, antiperspirant brands, such as Old Spice, Secret, and again Suave, were found to contain the same ingredient last year.
Similarly, this chemical is found in more than just dry shampoo products and antiperspirants. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention says the chemical “ranks in the top 20 chemicals for production volume.” As a result, many people might feel the effects of benzene. The article says users might feel dizzy, get headaches, or have an irregular heartbeat by breathing in the high chemical levels.
If the product has been purchased, professionals advise users to stop using it and dispose of it.
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