Unilever U.S. issued a voluntary product recall on Oct. 18, 2022, regarding potentially elevated levels of benzene in select lot codes of dry shampoo aerosol products produced prior to October 2021. Cited brands include Dove, Nexxus, Suave, TIGI (Rockaholic and Bed Head), and TRESemmé.
Daily exposure to benzene in the recalled products at the levels detected in testing would not be expected to cause adverse health consequences.
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As the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) explained, benzene is classified as a human carcinogen. Exposure to it can occur by inhalation, oral intake and through the skin, and can result in cancers including leukemia and blood cancer of the bone marrow and blood disorders that can be life threatening. Benzene is ubiquitous in the environment and humans around the world have daily exposures to it indoors and outdoors from multiple sources.
Based on an independent health hazard evaluation, daily exposure to benzene in the recalled products at the levels detected in testing would not be expected to cause adverse health consequences. However, Unilever U.S. is recalling these products out of an abundance of caution. Unilever has received no reports of adverse events to date relating to this recall.
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The recalled products were distributed nationwide in the United States. Retailers have been notified to remove recalled products from shelves; see the complete list of the affected products, which were produced prior to October 2021. No other products from Unilever or its brands are impacted by this recall.
According to Unilever, an internal investigation identified the propellant as the source and the company has worked with its propellant suppliers to address this issue.