Unilever recalls 19 dry shampoo products due to cancer-causing benzene presence

By Amanda Pauley | Published: 26-Oct-2022

The company has voluntarily recalled select Dove, Nexxus, Suave, Tigi and Tresemmé dry shampoo aerosol products in the US

Unilever has recalled 19 dry shampoo aerosol products in the US due to concerns of potentially ‘elevated levels’ of benzene. 

The consumer goods company has voluntarily recalled select lot codes of dry shampoo products from Dove, Nexxus, Suave, Tigi and Tresemmé produced prior to October 2021. 

Benzene is classified as a human carcinogen.

Exposure by inhalation, orally or through the skin can result in cancers, including leukaemia and blood cancer of the bone marrow, according to the US Department of Health and Human Services. 

Exposure can be considered dangerous depending on the dose and duration of contact. 

Unilever said it is pulling the aerosol products "out of an abundance of caution” and that the company has “received no reports of adverse events to date relating to this recall”. 

An independent health hazard evaluation found that daily exposure to the benzene in Unilever’s recalled dry shampoo products "would not be expected to cause adverse health consequences”. 

Which aerosol products have been recalled?

Unilever’s affected products include Nexxus’s Dry Shampoo Refreshing Mist and Inergy Foam Shampoo, as well as Suave’s Dry Shampoo Hair Refresher and Professionals Dry Shampoo Refresh and Revive. 

Tresemmé’s Dry Shampoo Volumizing, Dry Shampoo Fresh and Clean, and Pro Pure Dry Shampoo have also been recalled. 

Tigi’s Bed Head Oh Bee Hive Dry Shampoo, Oh Bee Hive Volumizing Dry Shampoo, Dirty Secret Dry Shampoo and Rockaholic Dirty Secret Dry Shampoo are also on the list. 

Unilever has recalled dry shampoo products from Dove, Nexxus, Suave, Tigi and Tresemmé

Unilever has recalled dry shampoo products from Dove, Nexxus, Suave, Tigi and Tresemmé

Dove’s affected products include Dry Shampoo Volume and Dullness, Dry Shampoo Fresh Coconut, Dry Shampoo Fresh and Floral, and Dry Shampoo Ultra Clean.

Plus, Dry Shampoo Invisible, Dry Shampoo Detox and Purify, Dry Shampoo Clarifying Charcoal and Dry Shampoo Go Active. 

US retailers have been notified to pull the recalled products from shelves.

Unilever has urged consumers to stop using the affected products and to visit unileverrecall.com for eligible product reimbursements.

No other products from Unilever have been impacted by the recall. 

The propellant issue

Benzene contamination resulting from propellant has been the cause of several product recalls in the beauty industry in the past 12 months.  

Edgewell, the manufacturer of sunscreen brand Banana Boat, voluntarily recalled three batches of Banana Boat Hair & Scalp Sunscreen Spray SPF 30 from shelves in August.

An internal review showed that some samples of the product contained trace levels of benzene.

Nivea and Sun Bum recalled sunscreen skus from Australia and New Zealand in May after benzene contamination was detected.

Sure and Brut also recalled six antiperspirant and deodorant sprays from the US and Canada in February after unsafe levels of benzene were detected.

Procter & Gamble voluntarily recalled 32 of its dry conditioner and shampoo sprays in December 2021 due to the presence of the carcinogen.

The beauty and consumer goods giant had conducted a review of its portfolio in the wake of general concern surrounding traces of benzene in aerosol spray products.

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