Dove, Bed Head, and TRESemmé dry shampoos were recalled last week after its parent company discovered residues of a cancer-causing ingredient in tests.
Dove, Nexxus, Suave, TIGI, and TRESemmé dry shampoos had trace amounts of benzene, according to Unilever, the parent company of numerous well-known hair care brands. In accordance with Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations, the manufacturer recalled these items voluntarily.
Natural components of crude oil, gasoline, and cigarette smoke include benzene. According to the Centers for Disease Control, the substance is among the top 20 most-used compounds. The chemical is utilized in the production of plastic, synthetic fibers, rubbers, detergents, and dyes.
Blood cell malignancies, such as leukemia, have been found to be more prevalent in benzene-exposed individuals, according to some research.
People with an undefined “high exposure” to benzene had greater chances of non-Hodgkin lymphoma, or cancer that begins in white blood cells, according to a 2021 study of 2,000 peer-reviewed studies. The American Cancer Society noted a 2012 study that found greater rates of leukemia in oil refining, chemical manufacturing, and shoemaking employees exposed to high levels of benzene.
Low-level exposure to benzene through cosmetics has not been linked to cancer, but inhaling excessive quantities of benzene can induce short-term negative effects such as dizziness and confusion, according to Healthline.
Unilever stated that the level of benzene is unlikely to have significant health effects, but the company is recalling the product “out of an excess of caution.”
Benzene is pervasive in the environment, according to an FDA press release. Multiple indoor and outdoor sources expose humans throughout the globe to benzene on a regular basis.
Dove, Bed Head, and TRESemmé dry shampoos were recalled last week after tests conducted by their parent company identified traces of a chemical linked to cancer.
Unilever, the parent company for many popular hair brands, said it found low levels of benzene in dry shampoos sold by Dove, Nexxus, Suave, TIGI, and TRESemmé. The company issued a voluntary recall of these products in compliance with Food and Drug Administration (FDA) rules.
Benzene is a natural component of crude oil, gasoline, and cigarette smoke. The chemical is among the top 20 most-used chemicals, per the Centers for Disease Control. Industries use the chemical to help make plastic, synthetic fibers, rubbers, detergents, and dyes.
Some studies have identified higher rates of cancers that effect blood cells, like leukemia, in people exposed to a lot benzene.
One 2021 analysis of 2,000 peer-reviewed found higher rates of non-Hodgkin lymphoma, or cancer that starts in the white blood cells, in people with an undefined “high exposure” to benzene. Another study from 2012, cited by the American Cancer Society, identified higher rates of leukemia in oil refining, chemical producing, and shoe-making workers exposed to high amounts of benzene
Research has not found a link between low-level exposure to benzene through cosmetics and cancer, but breathing in high doses of benzene can cause some short-term side effects, like dizziness and confusion, Healthline reports.
Unilever said the amount of benzene would not be expected to cause adverse health consequences, but the company is issuing a recall “out of an abundance of caution.”
“Benzene is ubiquitous in the environment,” per a release by the FDA. “Humans around the world have daily exposures to it indoors and outdoors from multiple sources.”
Unilever and the FDA have recommended consumers stop using affected aerosol dry shampoos, listed here. The list includes:
- Dove Dry Shampoo Ultra Clean
- Nexus Dry Shampoo Refreshing Mist
- Suave Professionals Dry Shampoo
- TRESemme Dry Shampoo Fresh and Clean
- Bed Head Dirty Secret Dry Shampoo
The government agency has asked retailers to remove these dry shampoos from their shelves. Unilever did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for additional comment.