Procter & Gamble issued a voluntary recall of more than 30 dry aerosol hair products on Dec. 17, after benzene, a chemical linked to cancer, was detected in them.
The recall includes 32 products from brands such as Pantene, Herbal Essences, Aussie, and Waterless, which are produced and distributed nationwide in the United States. A full list of the recalled products can be found on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) website.
Benzene is a colorless or light yellow liquid chemical that is highly flammable. It causes cells not to work properly and attacks the immune system. In humans, it can lead to anemia, while long-term exposure to high levels of benzene can cause leukemia
and cancer of the blood-forming organs.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC
), benzene is a natural part of crude oil, gasoline, and cigarette smoke and is widely used.
Exposure to benzene can occur through inhalation, orally, or through the skin and its effects vary, with symptoms ranging from dizziness and irregular heartbeat to convulsions and, at very high levels, death.
The latest recall is in addition to a previous Procter & Gamble recall
pertaining to aerosol dry shampoo products like Old Spice, Secret aerosol spray antiperspirant, and Old Spice Below Deck aerosol spray products, as well as Hair Food.
So far, Procter & Gamble has not received any reports of adverse events related to the recall. No other products from Pantene, Herbal Essences, Aussie, Hair Food, and Waterless are affected by the recall and can still be used by consumers, the company said in a statement.
"Following recent reports that indicated traces of benzene in some aerosol spray products, we began a review of our total portfolio of aerosol products," Procter & Gamble said. "While benzene is not an ingredient in any of our products, our review showed that unexpected levels of benzene came from the propellant that sprays the product out of the can. We detected benzene in aerosol dry shampoo spray products and aerosol dry conditioner spray products. Nothing is more important to us than the safety of the consumers who use our products and the quality of the products we ship."
The affected products are being removed from shelves by retailers and consumers are being asked to immediately stop using and discard them. Consumers will be offered reimbursement if they have purchased the products impacted by the recall.
The latest recall is the eighth benzene-related
spray product recall announced this year by the FDA.