Update: First it was Procter & Gamble's antiperspirants. Now the company is recalling nearly three dozen dry shampoos, dry conditioners, and other hair care products, after "unexpected levels" of benzene, a cancer-causing chemical, were found in them, reports NBC News. In a Friday Food and Drug Administration release, P&G notes that the recall involves 32 aerosol products from the Pantene, Herbal Essences, Aussie, and Old Spice brands, among others. The company notes that "the vast majority" of its hair care product line, which includes mousses, hairsprays, and liquid shampoos and conditioners, aren't affected. Customers can submit an online form to report any adverse effects, though to date P&G hasn't received any such reports. Consumers should stop using the affected products and throw them out. They can find out how to be reimbursed on each brand's website. Our original story from Nov. 27 follows:
Procter & Gamble has recalled 18 of its Old Spice and Secret aerosol antiperspirant sprays in the US after it says the cancer-causing chemical benzene was found in some of its products. The recall announcement issued by the company notes that it has told retailers to pull eight Old Spice and 10 Secret products with an expiration date of September 2023 from store shelves, and it also urges customers who already have these products in their homes to dump them (they can apply for reimbursement via the two brands' websites). P&G says that so far, it hasn't received reports of any "adverse events" tied to this finding, and that it's voluntarily recalling the products "out of an abundance of caution."
A P&G spokeswoman tells the Wall Street Journal the benzene was detected in the propellant that shoots the spray out of the can. Although the company notes that "daily exposure to benzene in the recalled products at the levels detected in our testing would not be expected to cause adverse health consequences," it acknowledges that exposure to the human carcinogen "can result in cancers including leukemia and blood cancer of the bone marrow and blood disorders which can be life-threatening." The Hill reports that Johnson & Johnson earlier this year recalled five of its own aerosol products (Neutrogena and Aveeno sunscreens) after it discovered low levels of benzene in those items. (Read more recall stories.)