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Recall alert: Dry shampoo, conditioners pulled due to cancer-causing chemical

Many of us buy beauty or health products without thinking twice about the ingredients. What goes in a bottle can be a mystery, especially whenever ingredients are listed with scientific-sounding names — like these recalled hand sanitizers that include the toxic chemical methanol.

Over the years, some of the ingredients in personal grooming products have been found to have cancer-causing properties. Unfortunately, it’s often only after thousands of units in sales that the contaminated products are recalled.

Read on for the latest grooming products from a well-known maker that you need to toss if you have them at home.

Here’s the backstory

Dry shampoo and conditioner can work wonders if you’re in a hurry and need to look presentable. The alcohol or starch ingredient is highly efficient in soaking up the oil and grease, which leaves your hair looking and feeling cleaner.

It’s amazing when it works as it should — but more than 30 aerosol spray products from Procter & Gamble are now the subject of a recall. The reason? They contain the cancer-causing ingredient benzene.

In a statement, Procter & Gamble said that benzene isn’t an ingredient in any of their products, but “unexpected levels” came from the propellant that sprays the product out of the can.

The recall spans several products across the Pantene, Aussie, Herbal Essences, and Waterless brands. It also includes discontinued products from Old Spice and Hair Food.

The products affected by the recall include:

Waterless (styled as Waterl<ss)

  • Dry Conditioner Weightless Smooth (3.6 oz. and 0.98 oz.)
  • Dry Conditioner Instant Moisture (3.6 oz. and 0.98 oz.)

Pantene

  • Sultry Blonde All in One Luxury Mist (4.9 oz.)
  • Smooth Talker Dry Conditioning Oil (3.9 oz.)
  • Mist Behaving Dry Conditioning Mist (3.9 oz. and 1.0 oz.)
  • Gold Series Instant Nourishing Spray (4.9 oz.)

Aussie

  • Smooth Vibes Dry Conditioner (4.9 oz.)
  • Petal Soft Dry Conditioner (4.9 oz.)
  • Sleekend Warrior Dry Conditioner (4.9 oz.)

Hair Food

  • Hair Food Coconut Dry Shampoo (4.9 oz.)

Old Spice

  • Old Spice Fiji Dry Shampoo (4.9 oz.)
  • Old Spice Pure Sport Dry Shampoo (4.9 oz.)

Other products from the affected brands are still safe to use and have not been included in the recall. The recalled items were sold in several retail stores nationwide, as well as online. Retailers have been instructed to remove the products from their shelves to prevent further possible harm.

To confirm you have a recalled product, you can look at the product ranges and UPC codes here.

What you can do about it

If you have any of the recalled products in your home, stop using them immediately. You’re also entitled to a refund for eligible products. Depending on which products you have, you can contact the brand directly with questions on how to proceed.

  • To contact Waterless, click here for more information. The company has specific forms that you must complete depending on whether you have one, two or three products from the recall.
  • For Old Spice, click here for how to contact them regarding a refund.
  • Pantene has a similar refund procedure. You can contact the company here for additional details.

You can also call the Procter & Gamble customer care line at 1-888-674-3631 between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. EST Monday through Friday.

While there is a safety concern about the benzene in the aerosol containers, Procter & Gamble says the recall was made with an abundance of caution and to put the safety of consumers first.

“Daily exposure to benzene in these aerosol dry conditioner spray products and aerosol dry shampoo spray products at the levels in our testing would not be enough to cause adverse health consequences,” the company said in a statement.

Any adverse reactions should be reported to the FDA’s MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program. You can file a report online here.

🚨 What it means for you

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