Unilever voluntarily recalled several brands of dry shampoo on October 18, after finding an unhealthy amount of cancer-causing agent Benzene in the products. According to the FDA, certain amounts of the chemical could cause cancers like leukemia and blood cancer if inhaled or exposed to the skin.
Brands like Dove, Nexxus, Suave, TRESemme, Bed Head and Rockaholic were some of the first dry shampoos to be taken off the market from all locations and Unilever urged consumers not to use them anymore.
Citizens sent a petition to the FDA on October 31 to further the recall of the cosmetics and “provide guidance for cosmetic products to include limitations on various impurities that pose known risks to human health and include benzene in such updates, and potentially include clarification that there is no acceptable level of benzene in cosmetic products and establish a reasonable detection limit.”
The petition goes on to state that it is important for companies like Unilever to efficiently test their products before releasing them to consumers, because consumers often do not read the labels and ingredients on their favorite cosmetic products before use. Generally, consumers will go to the store and assume that the products are safe to use because they are available for purchase at their local Target or drugstore.
Unilever is one of the biggest personal care companies around the world, with several big name brands like Dove and Vaseline. Their company approach is “to make sustainable living commonplace.” They made it clear to their consumers that they should check their product labels and scan the code to check if his or her product has been contaminated with the chemical. On Unilever’s website, they provide a page with instructions on how to check your product and apply for reimbursement if it’s affected.
By clicking one of the brand names listed, the website takes you to a page of the different types of dry shampoos and the many barcodes that are connected to a contaminated spray. Both US and Canadian products are listed.
An article from the Los Angeles Times stated that the lab that tested over 140 batches of different name brand dry shampoo aerosols found the cancerous chemical in 70% of them. The article also highlighted that it wasn’t the first time Benzene was found in personal care products: within the last year alone, another lab company had to recall several sunscreen, hand sanitizers and deodorants.
The FDA advises that if consumers come into contact with any quality issues of products, they should complete and submit a form through their website.
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