Scientist who sparked recalls says aerosol products are at greater risk for gasoline

Unilever recalls its nationwide aerosol dry shampoo products because they may contain elevated levels of benzene, a human carcinogen. The recall is the latest of a half-dozen so far this year, with the cancer-causing chemical appearing in products including deodorant, hand sanitizer and sunscreen.

People should take gasoline-related recalls seriously, as they involve far more dangerous pollutants than most, according to David Light, CEO of Valisher, an independent laboratory in New Haven, Connecticut, who alerted the Food and Drug Administration to the findings. I came up with gasoline in my sprays of sunscreen last year.

“Benzene is a bad molecule — it’s at the top of the FDA’s list of 70 solvents that should not be used,” Light told CBS MoneyWatch, adding that unlike some chemicals, “there’s no argument about whether or not it causes cancer.” .in humans.”

That doesn’t mean anyone who has used one of the recalled products will develop cancer, emphasized Light, a biotech scientist and scientist. However, he said, “Benzene should not be confused with many other areas of concern. This is a very problematic compound, and it should not be ignored.”

“Even small amounts make up big business,” Light added, citing the global reminder that followed after gasoline was found in bottles of Perrier mineral water more than three decades ago.

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

Light explained that the chemical is not an ingredient in any of the recalled products, but is likely a result of other petroleum products such as butane, which if not refined properly can contain other ingredients such as gasoline.

“Unfortunately, the more we search, the more we find,” he said of tests by Valisher, which late last year asked the Food and Drug Administration to recall the products after it detected benzene in 54% of 108 batches of 30 brands of body spray products.

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

An internal investigation by Unilever stated that the motive was the source, and the company worked with fuel suppliers to address the problem.

People who have purchased aerosol dry shampoo products should stop using them and visit UnileverRecall.com for payment instructions.

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Pictures of some of the products mentioned by Unilever.

US Food and Drug Administration


The recall is the second this year for Unilever involving a product potentially containing gasoline. The group sells nearly 400 products worldwide, from Ben & Jerry’s ice cream to Hellmann’s mayonnaise.

Exposure to benzene can lead to cancers including leukemia and leukemia in the blood marrow, as well as life-threatening blood disorders. Unilever said daily exposure to benzene in recalled products at the levels detected in the test “is not expected to cause adverse health consequences.”

common chemical

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

Unilever in late March recalled two Suave 24-hour aerosol protection antiperspirants after an internal review found slightly elevated levels of benzene in some samples.

Four other companies recalled their products this year after benzene was found in samples, and more than six recalls came For the same reason last year.

In December, for example, Procter & Gamble Remember aerosol dry shampoo And conditioner spray products from six brands are being sold nationwide after benzene was found in some of them.

But benzene isn’t the only cancer-causing chemical of concern to users and makers of personal care products.

A lawsuit filed Friday against L’Oreal alleges that chemicals in the French company’s hair straighteners caused uterine cancer in the woman. The lawsuit over “phthalates and other endocrine disrupting chemicals” came days after a study linked the use of such products to uterine cancer.

L’Oreal Did not respond to request a comment.

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