Dry Shampoo Danger

Before you reach for dry shampoo, which we all know is used as a quick fix between washes, you should know that they are an increasing health concern. According to findings released on Tuesday, more of the aerosol spray-on products were tainted with a cancer-causing chemical.

Benzene — the contaminant behind nationwide recalls of dry shampoos by Unilever and Procter & Gamble is also showing up in products that still remain on store shelves. The new study found that it includes popular spray-on shampoos, including Dove, Nexxus, Suave, TIGI, and TRESemmé.

Valisure tested 148 batches from 34 brands of spray-on dry shampoo and found benzene in 70% of those.

“Thirty percent had no detectable amount of benzene, so it can be made cleanly,” David Light, CEO of the independent lab. “There’s definitely a higher risk right now with propellant-based aerosol sprays,” said Light, whose company last year first alerted the Food and Drug Administration to its findings of benzene in spray sunscreens, antiperspirants, and hand sanitizers.

On Monday, Valisure filed a petition with the FDA requesting that they recall the products that were found to be contaminated. Exposure to benzene can result in cancers, including leukemia and cancer of the bone marrow, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, and life-threatening blood disorders.

According to Valisure’s findings, spray from one can of Not Your Mother’s Beach Babe dry shampoo contained 158 parts per million of benzene, while a can of Batiste Bare Dry Shampoo held 15 parts per million of the chemical. And according to the Environmental Protection Agency, inhaling benzene at levels of 0.4 parts per billion frequently over a lifetime might cause additional cancer per 100,000 people. 

Tampa, Florida-based DeMert expressed concern about the findings but added that the report was “inconsistent with the data provided by our suppliers and the rigorous ongoing testing to ensure the safety and integrity of our products. These tests show no traceable amounts of benzene.”

“Batiste is growing like crazy. It’s doing fantastic. We can’t meet all the demand; consumption is up dramatically,” CFO Rick Dierker said. 

Consumer use of Batiste rose 37% in the third quarter from the year-ago period, Church & Dwight CEO Matt Farrell told an earnings call on Friday. 

The first dry shampoo recall came in December, with P&G pulling Pantene and Herbal Essences from shelves. 

The propellants used in many of the recalled products involve petroleum products, and there is “supposed to be a more refined version that goes into consumer and drug products,” said Light. The trouble likely “goes all the way back to the beginning of the supply chain and wasn’t detected along the way,” he said.

Light also noted that people assume that the FDA tests products, but that is not the case, nor is it part of the agency’s mandate. 

However, manufacturers are responsible for the safety and quality of their products. Therefore, the FDA encourages companies and retailers to remove their products from store shelves and online marketplaces when benzene is detected.

Sources:

https://www.valisure.com/valisure-newsroom/valisure-detects-benzene-in-dry-shampoo

https://emergency.cdc.gov/agent/benzene/basics/facts.asp

https://www.fda.gov/safety/recalls-market-withdrawals-safety-alerts/unilever-issues-voluntary-us-recall-select-dry-shampoos-due-potential-presence-benzene

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