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Cancer-Causing Benzene Found in More Dry Shampoo Products

Riddle Brantley LLP   |  November 11, 2022   |  

More Spray-On Shampoos Contaminated with Cancer-Causing Benzene

Recent research has found elevated levels of cancer-causing benzene in more dry shampoo products.Independent chemical testing lab Valisure has released a report that shows more popular brands of dry shampoo contain “quantifiable” levels of benzene, a carcinogenic substance. The new report follows a dry shampoo recall by Unilever in late October 2022.

In October 2022, multiple brands of aerosol dry shampoos, including Suave, Dove, and TRESemmé, were voluntarily recalled by Unilever due to the potential presence of cancer-causing benzene. The findings from Valisure indicate that more products than were recalled may contain dangerous levels of cancer-causing benzene.

An FDA Citizen Petition has already been submitted by Valisure urging the FDA to request recalls on all dry shampoo products found to contain benzene levels above the FDA limits.

These findings have also prompted several consumers to file dry shampoo lawsuits against spray-on shampoo manufacturers, alleging that they downplayed the risks associated with these products and the amount of benzene they contained.

“Any significant detection of benzene [in dry shampoos] could be deemed unacceptable.”

David Light, CEO, Valisure

FEBRUARY 2023 UPDATE: Please note that at this time, Riddle & Brantley is providing this information for consumers’ benefit, but we are not currently accepting cases related to dry shampoos. 

High Levels of Benzene Found in Popular Dry Shampoo Products

 The FDA limit for benzene in drugs is 2 parts for million (ppm). In Valisure’s testing of 34 different brands of dry shampoo products, 70% of the samples showed what they described as “quantifiable” levels of benzene.

Of these samples, 11 showed levels over 10 times more than the acceptable FDA limits for cancer-causing benzene, which prompted Valisure to submit its citizen petition calling for the FDA to recall the products.

According to David Light, CEO at Valisure, “The dry shampoos tested are not drugs and contain no active pharmaceutical ingredient for therapeutic purpose; therefore, any significant detection of benzene could be deemed unacceptable.”

Inhalation Risks

Data from Valisure also revealed that benzene may remain airborne after the application of spray-on shampoos, raising the risk of inhalation of the cancer-causing chemical.

“The presence of this known human carcinogen in dry shampoo products that are regularly used indoors and in large volumes makes this finding especially troubling.”

What is Benzene?

Benzene is a colorless hydrocarbon found in many products, from paint to gasoline. Its most common form is an odorless, volatile liquid that can also be inhaled via toxic fumes. Elevated levels of benzene have now been found in several brands of spray-on shampoo.

Can Benzene in Dry Shampoo Cause Cancer?

According to the CDC, the health effects of long-term exposure to benzene can include:

  • Irregular menstrual periods
  • Anemia
  • Excessive bleeding
  • Infection
  • Cancer
  • Leukemia

According to experts, there is no safe level of exposure to benzene, and many studies are being conducted about how exposure to benzene, even in small amounts, can affect our long-term health.

Proctor & Gamble, Johnson & Johnson Already Face Benzene Cancer Lawsuits 

This isn’t the first significant report of benzene in consumer personal care products. Riddle & Brantley is already engaged in legal action concerning benzene contamination in other products such as spray-on deodorants and body sprays and sunscreens.

In November 2021, Valisure filed another citizens petition with the Food and Drug Administration regarding antiperspirant body sprays after high levels of benzene were found in these products.

An affected customer later filed a proposed class action against Proctor and Gamble, and that lawsuit remains pending.

Additionally, in July 2021, Johnson & Johnson issued a voluntary recall of several sunscreens after Valisure found elevated levels of benzene in these products. Several lawsuits followed, which were settled out of court in November 2021 for an undisclosed amount. Riddle & Brantley is currently investigating additional spray-on sunscreen cancer claims.

Dry Shampoo Benzene Lawsuits

"If you've suffered from cancer after using a recalled dry shampoo, you deserve justice." -Gene Riddle

FEBRUARY 2023 UPDATE: Please note that at this time, Riddle & Brantley is providing this information for consumers’ benefit, but we are not currently accepting cases related to dry shampoos. 

Following the release of these findings, DeMert, Church & Dwight, and Unilever have all been named in lawsuits that allege these companies failed to disclose the presence of a known carcinogen in their dry shampoo products.

Even though some of these companies recalled products earlier this year, the plaintiffs are alleging that these companies did not draw enough attention to the risks associated with these products and their potential benzene contamination.

IMPORTANT: As of early November 2022, defendants in the dry shampoo lawsuits strongly deny any liability and/or wrongdoing in these cases.

What’s Next for Consumers?

The FDA has 180 days to respond to the citizen petition that Valisure has submitted, and in the meantime, more shampoo lawsuits are likely to pile up against these companies as affected consumers become aware of the risks potentially associated with these products.

Consumers and legal experts alike will be watching these cases closely to see what kind of responsibility these companies will be held to in the manufacturing and distribution of products containing known carcinogens.

Do You Have a Dry Shampoo Cancer Claim?

FEBRUARY 2023 UPDATE: Please note that at this time, Riddle & Brantley is providing this information for consumers’ benefit, but we are not currently accepting cases related to dry shampoos. 

If you’ve been diagnosed with a qualifying cancer, including leukemia, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and multiple myeloma, after using a recalled dry shampoo product, you may be entitled to compensation.

Please call 1-800-525-7111, and let’s review your claim with a FREE, no-obligation case review. Our experienced spray-on shampoo cancer attorneys are ready to help however they can.

We’ve secured over $665 million in compensation for clients since 2000 alone (see disclaimer below), and we’re committed to seeking maximum compensation for clients in dry shampoo lawsuits.

Call 1-800-525-7111 and let’s review your claim.

Justice Counts.

*** Disclaimer: The results mentioned are intended to illustrate the type of cases handled by the firm. These results do not guarantee a similar outcome, and they should not be construed to constitute a promise or guarantee of a particular result in any particular case. Every case is different, and the outcome of any case depends upon a variety of factors unique to that case.