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Update: More shampoos found that contain cancer-causing ingredient

Most of the recalls that we cover here deal with defective vehicles. In fact, we just posted a massive recall list of cars earlier this week. Tap or click here to find out if yours made the list.

But sometimes food or personal products put your health in jeopardy. That leads us to ask, how safe do you think it is to use dry shampoo? Most Americans don’t think twice when using this seemingly-harmless product. That may have just changed.

Unilever, the producer of many of our favorite brands on shelves, has officially recalled over a dozen aerosol-based dry shampoo products. Why? Benzene, a dangerous carcinogen, is the common denominator to be found here. We have updated the list since we first published this post with three additional products, which we’ll note below. Here’s what you need to know.

Here’s the backstory

The convenience of dry shampoo is undeniable, but Unilever’s recall proves that even the most innocuous household products may harbor unseen danger.

The products recalled on this list by the FDA are due to the potential presence of benzene. Benzene is a human carcinogen and can cause cancer if exposed to significant amounts. These products are not considered to have vast quantities of benzene but are being recalled out of caution.

This week researchers at Valisure announced that they found benzene in 70% of the dry shampoos they tested, which consisted of 148 unique batches from 34 different brands. The lab is petitioning the FDA to remove more brands from shelves.

Note: Three additional dry shampoos have been added to the recall list. They are all travel-size versions of products already listed.

This product recall involves Unilever products in both the U.S. and Canada. The products involved in the voluntary recall are as follows:

  • Dove Dry Shampoo Volume and Fullness.
  • Dove Dry Shampoo, Volume and Fullness travel.
  • Dove Dry Shampoo Fresh Coconut.
  • Dove Dry Shampoo, Fresh Coconut travel.
  • Dove Dry Shampoo Fresh and Floral.
  • Dove Dry Shampoo Ultra Clean.
  • Dove Dry Shampoo Invisible.
  • Dove Dry Shampoo Detox and Purify.
  • Dove Dry Shampoo Clarifying Charcoal.
  • Dove Dry Shampoo Go Active.
  • Nexxus Dry Shampoo Refreshing Mist.
  • Nexxus Inergy Foam Shampoo.
  • Suave Dry Shampoo Hair Refresher.
  • Suave Professionals Dry Shampoo Refresh and Revive.
  • Tresemme Dry Shampoo Volumizing.
  • Tresemme Dry Shampoo Fresh and Clean.
  • Tresemme Pro Pure Dry Shampoo.
  • Bed Head Oh Bee Hive Dry Shampoo.
  • Bed Head Oh Bee Hive Volumizing Dry Shampoo.
  • Bed Head Dirty Secret Dry Shampoo.
  • Bed Head, Dirty Secret Dry Shampoo travel.
  • Bed Head Rockaholic Dirty Secret Dry Shampoo.

No customers have come forward with product-related complaints, thankfully. The conglomerate primarily took these products off the shelf as a precautionary measure. If any of these products are in your home, discontinue their use ASAP. You can return them to the seller for a full refund.

What’s the deal with benzene?

In dry shampoo, benzene is used as a propelling agent. When used indoors, spraying benzene-rich products contaminates the home and has been shown to cause many health issues with frequent use.

On its own, benzene is a pale, transparent substance that’s incredibly flammable. Derived from crude oil, you can find it in goods made of resin, plastic, nylon, rubber, and even pharmaceuticals, dye, detergent, and pesticides.

While benzene is a common compound to run into in our modern world (it’s also present in cigarette smoke), minimizing your exposure to the chemical whenever possible is advisable. 

How to avoid toxic chemicals in household goods

Keeping your household safe and free of cancer-causing agents like benzene isn’t always easy. Sometimes, the dangerous stuff isn’t even in the product formula. 

A few ways you can avoid bringing harmful compounds home with you include:

  • Use home remedies like baking soda and vinegar instead of harsh cleaning products like bleach and other caustic chemicals.
  • Opt into BPA-free packaging, most relevant when shopping for food.
  • Replace plastic and rubber in your kitchen with glass and metal utensils and containers.
  • Just say no to Teflon and other off-brand non-stick cookware.
  • Choose the fragrance-free alternative when possible (brands like Dove usually offer something scentless and hypoallergenic for those with sensitive skin).

Air fresheners, hand sanitizer, and other conveniences can have a dire cost. Cleanse your home of stuff that might make you and your family sick, and, of course, stay tuned to the latest when it comes to product recalls like the one described above.

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