The dirty truth about benzene in dry shampoos

Cosmetics and personal hygiene products must comply with strict regulations to ensure they are safe for consumers. This includes everything from what goes into them and how they are made to what companies print on the label.

Unfortunately, there are still situations where these products put consumers in danger. For example, dry shampoo, could contain benzene, a harmful chemical compound.

Over 20 brands affected

Dry shampoos that come in the aerosol, spray-on form are under fire because multiple popular brands are still on shelves and for sale, despite tests showing they contain benzene.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) notes that benzene is a chemical compound that can harm people’s immune systems and cause cells not to work correctly.

Recent lab tests showed these products included Not Your Mother’s Beach Babe and Batiste Bare Dry Shampoo. However, the makers of these products maintain they are safe, and the tests are inconsistent with their findings.

It is not an unavoidable issue. In that same test, researchers found at least 10 dry shampoo brands had no trace of benzene, which means it is possible to make dry shampoo without it. And as this article explains further, benzene does not serve a purpose in dry shampoos: it gets in them unintentionally when it adheres to butane molecules, which these products use as a propellant.

What should consumers do?

If you use or have dry shampoo, check if there are active recalls on it. If there are, stop using them. Multiple companies announced recalls of products recently, including several made by Unilever. You can also seek other products that use alternative delivery methods.

Keep in mind:  a wide range of other products we use every day contain benzene, from glue and paint to detergents and gasoline.

However, when it comes to dry shampoo, benzene serves no purpose, and companies can make products without it; those that do not are needlessly putting consumers at risk.

When consumers suffer illnesses or injuries because of unsafe, defective, or unreasonably dangerous products, the companies that design, manufacture and sell them can be liable for the financial and non-financial damages people experience because of their product.

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