Dove Dry Shampoo Can Cause Cancer? Unilever Recalls Dove & Other Dry Shampoos Over Cancer Risk

Hindustan Lever issues this official statement:

“HUL does not manufacture or sell dry shampoos in India. Unilever U.S. and Canada voluntarily recalled select lot codes of dry shampoo produced prior to October 2021 out of abundant caution, after an internal investigation identified elevated levels of benzene. An independent health hazard evaluation concluded that levels of benzene detected do not pose a health risk. If consumers have any questions, they can for more information.”


After discovering that the popular brands of aerosol dry shampoo, including Dove were contaminated with a chemical called benzene that can cause cancer, Unilever had recalled them.

Dove Dry Shampoo Can Cause Cancer? Unilever Recalls Dove & Other Dry Shampoos Over Cancer Risk

As per the data from Food and Drug Administration’s website, the recall includes brands such as Nexxus, Suave, Tresemmé and Tigi, which makes Rockaholic and Bed Head dry shampoos are also covered.

Products that were made prior to October 2021 were recalled. Questions about the safety of aerosols in personal-care products in once again doing the rounds. Number of aerosol sunscreens like Johnson & Johnson’s Neutrogena, Edgewell Personal Care Co.’s Banana Boat and Beiersdorf AG’s Coppertone along with spray-on antiperspirants like Procter & Gamble Co.’s Secret and Old Spice and Unilever’s Suave are being pulled from the shelves.

Cancerous Benzene Found in Products

The recall was triggered after the analytical lab called Valisure, based in New Haven, Connecticut found benzene in such products in May 2021.

Notably, this isn’t the very first time that such thing is happening when it comes to the spray-on dry shampoo.

Post this finding, P&G tested its whole portfolio of aerosol products.

The company then recalled its Pantene and Herbal Essences dry shampoos in December, citing benzene contamination.

David light, CEO, Valisure said that “Given what we’ve seen, it unfortunately makes sense that other consumer-product categories, like aerosol dry shampoos, could be heavily affected by benzene contamination and we are actively investigating this area”.

Propellants Used in Spray Are Susceptible

The problem with aerosols has largely appeared to be from the propellants used to spray the personal-care products from the cans. Unilever said this was the case with its dry shampoo recall.

Though the company said that it recalled the products due to an abundance of caution, they tested them and did not release the amount of benzene found in the products. 

As per the FDA said that “daily exposure to benzene in the recalled products at the levels detected in testing would not be expected to cause adverse health consequences.” 

Exposure to benzene, as per the agency, can result in leukemia and other blood cancers.

Propellants like propane and butane are contained in the spray-on personal-care products like dry shampoos.

Though there is no as such benzene limits set for cosmetics like dry shampoo, FDA says that the products shouldn’t contain “any poisonous or deleterious substance.”

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