Massive recall issued for dry shampoo products over cancer risk


More than a million dry shampoo products from brands Bed Head TIGI, Dove and Tresemmé are being recalled across Canada due to the detection of a cancer-causing chemical.

Health Canada issued the recall Tuesday for 15 different products that were sold between January 2020 and October 2022 (see the full list here). Parent company Unilever reported that more than 1.5 million units of the affected products were sold across the country.

In a statement on its website, Unilever Canada said potentially elevated levels of the chemical benzene were detected in the affected products, which are packaged in aerosol cans.

Benzene is classified as a human carcinogen and exposure to the chemical by inhalation, orally or through the skin can result in cancers such as leukemia, blood cancer of the bone marrow, and blood disorders, according to Health Canada.

Unilever said an internal investigation identified the aerosol can propellant as the source of the elevated levels of benzene and it has worked with its propellant suppliers to address the issue.

“Unilever Canada is recalling these products out of an abundance of caution,” it said.

Health Canada noted that “daily exposure to benzene in the recalled products at the levels detected in testing would not be expected to cause adverse health consequences” based on exposure modelling and the cancer risk assessments from the Environmental Protection Agency.

As of Oct. 7 this year, Unilever had not received any reports of incidents or injuries related to the affected products, Health Canada said.

“Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled product and dispose of it in accordance with the instructions for disposal on the packaging,” the agency said. They can contact the company for reimbursement, it said.

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