Recalling that aerosol products have a higher risk for benzene, says the scientist

Recalling that aerosol products have a higher risk for benzene, says the scientist
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Unilever is recalling dry shampoo aerosol products sold nationwide because they may contain high levels of benzene, a human carcinogen. The recall is the latest of half a dozen so far this year, with the cancer-causing chemical appearing in products such as deodorant, hand sanitizer and sunscreen.

According to David Light, CEO of Valisure, an independent lab in New Haven, Connecticut, people should take benzene recalls seriously because they contain a more dangerous contaminant than most. benzene in sunscreen sprays last year.

“Benzene is a very bad molecule — it’s at the top of the FDA’s list of more than 70 solvents that should not be used,” Light told CBS MoneyWatch, adding that, unlike some chemicals, “it doesn’t matter if it causes cancer or not.” there is no dispute about it. people.”

Light, a biotech entrepreneur and scientist, emphasized that this does not mean that everyone who uses one of the recalled products will develop cancer. Still, “Gasoline should not be confused with many other areas of concern. It is a very problematic compound and should not be ignored,” he said.

“Even small amounts are a big deal,” Light added, referring to the global recall that followed the discovery of benzene in bottles of Perrier mineral water more than 30 years ago.

Light said aerosol-type products contain more benzene than the general field of consumer products, such as petroleum-derived products such as gels, lotions, creams and sunscreens.

The chemical is not a component of any of the recalled products, but likely resulted from other petroleum products, such as butane, which can contain other components such as benzene if not properly treated, Light explained.

“Unfortunately, the more we looked, the more we found,” he said of the Valisure tests late last year petitioned The FDA is issuing a recall for the product after finding benzene in 54% of 108 batches of 30 brands of body spray products.

The latest recall includes dry shampoo aerosol products made before October 2021 from brands Dove, Nexxus, Suave, TIGI (Rockaholic and Bed Head) and TRESemmé, the company said in a report. warning It was published by the FDA last week. (See here (for a complete list of recalled products and UPC codes.)

An internal investigation by Unilever identified the source of the fuel and the company said it was working with its fuel suppliers to resolve the issue.

People who have purchased affected aerosol dry shampoo products should stop using them and visit for compensation instructions.

Photo of some of the products recalled by Unilever.

US Food and Drug Administration

The recall is the second for Unilever this year involving a product that may contain benzene. The conglomerate sells about 400 products worldwide, from Ben & Jerry’s ice cream to Hellmann’s mayonnaise.

Exposure to benzene can cause life-threatening blood disorders, including leukemia and blood cancer of the blood marrow. Unilever said that daily exposure to benzene in the recalled products at the levels found in the test “would not be expected to cause adverse health effects”.

A commonly found chemical

Benzene, one of the most produced chemicals in the United States, is found in gasoline and cigarette smoke. according to US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. People are usually exposed to the chemical by breathing in the air, but they can also absorb it by touching petroleum products or by eating or drinking contaminated food or drinks.

At the end of March, Unilever reminded After an internal investigation, two Suave 24-hour protection aerosol antiperspirants found that benzene was slightly elevated in some samples.

Four other companies have recalled their products this year after finding benzene in samples, and more than half a dozen have been recalled. for the same reason last year.

For example, Procter & Gamble in December reminded me of aerosol dry shampoo and conditioner spray products from six brands sold nationwide after benzene was found in some.

But benzene isn’t the only cancer-causing chemical that worries users and manufacturers of personal care products.

A lawsuit filed Friday against L’Oreal alleges that chemicals in the French company’s hair straighteners caused a woman to develop uterine cancer. A lawsuit alleging “phthalates and other endocrine-disrupting chemicals” came a few days later to learn links the use of such products to childhood cancer.

L’Oreal he didn’t answer to the comment request.

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