Unilever has issued a voluntary recall of more than a dozen aerosol dry shampoos sold in the United States, saying they may contain high levels of the carcinogen benzene.
The affected products were manufactured before October 2021, the conglomerate said, and come from several different brands owned by Unilever: Dove, Nexxus, Suave, TIGI and TRESemmé.
The voluntary recall of certain products, identified by production codes, applies in the United States and Canada. Unilever USA said in a statement that it had not yet received reports of “adverse events” from customers.
“Unilever US is recalling these products out of an abundance of caution,” the company said, adding that retailers have been instructed to remove the recalled products from shelves.
An internal investigation led to the voluntary recall, Unilever said in its statement. The propellant in the spray can was the source of the benzene, he found, and the company said it was working with suppliers to fix the problem.
Unilever could not immediately be reached for comment.
Benzene, a chemical used to create many industrial products such as nylon and plastics, is also released into the air through cigarette smoke and the burning of coal, oil and gasoline, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Some inhalation exposure is unavoidable in everyday life, but prolonged contact with high levels of the chemical prevents cells from “functioning properly”, which lowers a person’s red blood cell count and wreaks havoc on the body. immune system, the public health agency said. According to the Food and Drug Administration, benzene can also be ingested and absorbed through the skin.
Long-term exposure can cause leukemia, a cancer of blood cells, according to the Department of Health and Human Services. It can also harm reproductive organs in women, the agency said.
Unilever customers should immediately stop using the affected products and can request a refund, the company said.
This dry shampoo recall was at least the sixth recall this year involving benzene, according to FDA data. Past product recalls have included Disney-themed hand sanitizer for “The Mandalorian”, Banana Boat sunscreen and Suave spray deodorant.
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