Seven out of 10 dry shampoos still on grocery store shelves contain detectable levels of a cancer-causing chemical — despite dozens of popular brands recently being recalled.
Research by a laboratory in Connecticut tested a random sample of 148 different products sold in CVS, Walgreens and by online retailers such as Amazon across the country.
About 70 percent tested positive for benzene, a known carcinogen strongly linked to leukemia and other blood disorders. Among those containing the chemical were drugstore favorites Batiste and Not Your Mother’s — along with premium brands Pureology and Kerastase.
Benzene levels varied by bottle, but nine were found to have at least 10 times the legal limit. One product — Not Your Mother’s Beach Babe Texturizing Coconut — had nearly 80 times the threshold.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) – which regulates beauty and cosmetic products – told DailyMail.com today that it was reviewing the results.
Manufacturers including Church & Dwight – which makes Batiste – disputed the findings, saying they had recently “confirmed” with their suppliers that dry shampoos do not contain benzene.
It comes after millions of bottles of dry shampoo bottles from Dove, TRESemme and Bed Head were recalled across America last week after they were found to contain benzene.
People who bought the shampoos were told to stop using them and visit the Unilever – the conglomerate that made them – website for a full refund.
Benzene can be a contaminant in a dry shampoo’s propellant, made with petroleum products and used to send the product out of the bottle and onto someone’s hair.
The chemical is often found in the environment after coming from car exhaust, cigarette smoke and industrial emissions – in much lower concentrations than in dry shampoo.
Pictured above are the brands that were found to contain benzene, a known carcinogen. Valisure, an independent lab in Connecticut that performed the tests, has contacted the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to ask it to issue a recall of the brands. The FDA said it was reviewing their report
Pictured above are the dry shampoo products that have already been recalled because they contain benzene, after the move was requested by the FDA
Butane, a petroleum product, is a common propellant in aerosol spray cans. If not properly refined during the manufacturing process, the resulting gas may contain other components from the crude oil, such as benzene.
Benzene is at the top of the FDA’s list of hazardous solvents.
It is considered a “class 1 solvent” that “should not be used in the manufacture of drug substances, excipients and drug products due to their unacceptable toxicity”.
Inhaling or absorbing the chemical over a long period of time can have devastating health effects as it causes cells in the body to malfunction.
Dry shampoos with benzene remain on the shelves
- Not Your Mother’s, Beach Babe, Toasted Coconut;
- Not your mother’s, Clean Freak Original;
- Not Your Mother’s, Clean Freak Unscented;
- Not your mother’s triple threat brunette;
- Not Your Mother’s, Plump for Joy Body Building;
- Not your mom’s Blonde Moment dry shampoo;
- Paul Mitchell Invisiblewear Brunette Dry Shampoo;
- Sun Bum Beach Formula Dry Shampoo;
- Batiste, dry shampoo bar;
- Batiste, dry shampoo Clean and Light Bar;
- Sebastian, Dry Clean Only Dry Shampoo;
- Redken, Deep Clean Dry Shampoo;
- dp Hue, apple cider vinegar dry shampoo;
- dp Hue, apple cider vinegar travel size;
- OGX, Extra Strength, Coconut Miracle Oil;
- OGX, Extra Strength Dry Shampoo Coconut Miracle;
- Sol de Janeira, Brazilian Joia Dry Shampoo;
- Klorane, dry shampoo with nettle oil control;
- Klorane, dry shampoo with oat milk Ultra Gentle;
- IGK, Direct Flight Multi-Tasking Matcha Dry Shampoo.
Overexposure to benzene can also cause the bone marrow to not produce enough red blood cells, which can lead to anemia, as well as blood cancer.
It can also wreak havoc on the immune system by changing blood levels of antibodies and killing white blood cells.
Short-term inhalation of a high concentration of benzene can cause a myriad of adverse effects such as dizziness, headache, irregular heart rhythm and, in some severe circumstances, death.
The American Cancer Society says it increases someone’s risk of developing cancer.
Benzene belongs to a class of chemicals called volatile organic compounds, which evaporate into the air.
The FDA says it is manufacturers’ responsibility to monitor benzene levels in their products.
It enables a trace level of up to two parts per million (ppm) in products.
But the Environmental Protection Agency warns that breathing just 0.4 ppm of benzene increases your risk, resulting in one more cancer case per 100,000 people.
The latest research conducted by Valisure and published online found benzene in most dry shampoo products tested.
The independent lab purchased dry shampoos from pharmacies across the United States and then took them for testing.
The tests were conducted over a number of months, the researchers said.
The amount of benzene in products varied by spray and even bottles of the same brand – for those where it was detected.
They said the investigation found the “highest and most detected levels of benzene to date”.
A total of thirty percent of those checked had no benzene in them – including bottles from L’Oreal, Philosophy and American Crew.
But the vast majority were found to contain carcinogens.
For nine of the products tested, the levels of benzene were more than 10 times the recommended limit.
Dry shampoos with benzene that have already been recalled
More than a million bottles of dry shampoo have already been recalled for containing benzene.
The FDA requested the recall after testing showed they contained the carcinogen.
It can end up in products as a contaminant in the propellant, which is used to ensure that the liquid is released from the bottles at a rapid rate.
Customers should stop using the products immediately and return them to the seller for a full refund:
- 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 Pro. 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;
- Bedhead, Dirty Secret Dry Shampoo;
- Bed Head, Dirty Secret Dry Shampoo trips;
- Bed Head, Rockaholic Dirty Secret Dry Shampoo.
Dry shampoos with detectable levels of benzene
The study also found that these products had detectable levels of benzene.
But these were below the two parts per million (ppm) safety threshold set by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA):
- Sebastian, Dry Clean Only Dry Shampoo;
- Batiste, Dry Shampoo Plus Brilliant Blonde;
- Batiste, Dry Shampoo Floral and Flirty Blush;
- Not Your Mother’s, Clean Freak Refreshing Unscented;
- Not Your Mother’s, Clean Freak Refreshing Original;
- CHI, VIBES Wake and Fake Soothing Dry Shampoo;
- OGX, Extra Strength Argan Oil of Morocco;
- Garnier Fructis, Texturizing Invisible Dry Shampoo;
- Batiste, dry shampoo bar;
- Batiste, dry shampoo Fresh Breezy Citrus;
- Batiste, Dry Shampoo Plus Divine Dark;
- Batiste, dry shampoo flowers and flirty bush;
- Pureology, Style and Protect Refresh and Go Dry;
- Kerastase, Fresh Affair Refreshing Dry Shampoo;
- Amika, Perk Up Dry Shampoo;
- Hask, dry shampoo Monoi Coconut;
- Drybar, Detox Clear Invisible Dry Shampoo Blanc;
- Drybar, Detox Dry Shampoo Original Scent;
- Biolage, all-in-one intensive dry shampoo;
- Eva NYC, Freshen Up Invisible Dry Shampoo;
- Kristin Ess, Brunette dry shampoo;
- Bumble and Bumble, Pret-a-powder Tres Invisible;
- Cake, The ‘Do Gooder Volumizing Dry Shampoo.
Seven of these were from Not Your Mother’s, under the names: Toasted Coconut, Clean Freak Original, Clean Freak Unscented, Triple Threat Brunette, Plump for Joy Body Building Orange, Clean and Refreshing and Blonde Moment.
The other two were Paul Mithcell Invisiblewear Brunette and Sun Bum Beach Formula.
Testing also revealed variations in benzene levels within the same product, which Valisure said suggested there were inconsistent mixing practices.
For example, a bottle of Not Your Mother’s Beach Babe Toasted Coconut had 79 times the recommended level in the first spray but 61 times this in the second.
Valisure CEO David Light said the results should be “cause for significant concern” because products are likely to be used indoors, where benzene “can linger and be inhaled” for long periods.
He added: “These and other issues identified by Valisure, including the discovery of benzene in body spray, hand sanitizer and sunscreen, strongly underline the importance of independent testing and its need to be better integrated into an increasingly complex and vulnerable global supply chain. .’
Asked about the results, Mr Light told CBS Moneywatch: “Thirty per cent had no detectable amount of benzene, so it can be made clean.
“There is definitely a higher risk right now with propellant-based aerosol sprays.”
In a statement to DailyMail.com, the FDA said: “Manufacturers are responsible for the safety and quality of their products.
“The FDA encourages companies and retailers to remove their products from store shelves and online marketplaces when benzene is detected. Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled drugs and cosmetic products.’
Batiste manufacturer Church & Dwight suggested it had no plans to issue a recall at this time.
A spokesman told CBS it was evaluating the report at the center of the latest allegations.
“When fuel was reported to be the source of benzene in competitors’ recalled products, we contacted our fuel suppliers and confirmed with those suppliers that the fuels used in our Batiste products do not contain benzene.
The maker of Not Your Mother’s, DeMert, said the report “is 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 detectable amount of benzene.”
It comes after Unilever – behind brands such as Dove, Nexxus and TRESemme – recalled 1.5 million products because they contained elevated levels of benzene.
The affected products are aerosols manufactured before October 2021 from the brands Dove, Nexxus, Suave and TRESemme.
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