P&G recalls hair care sprays over benzene scare

By Julia Wray | Published: 20-Dec-2021

A recall of certain aerosol dry conditioner and shampoo spray products has been issued at the consumer level

Procter & Gamble has voluntarily recalled 32 of its dry conditioner and shampoo sprays due to the presence of the carcinogen benzene.

The recall, which was issued at the consumer level on Friday 17 December, encompasses aerosol dry conditioner spray products and aerosol dry shampoo spray products from its Pantene, Aussie, Herbal Essences and Waterless brands, produced in the US, in addition to previously discontinued aerosol dry shampoo products from Old Spice and Hair Food, also due to benzene being detected.

Benzene is classified as a human carcinogen and exposure to benzene by inhalation, orally or through the skin can result in cancers including leukemia and blood cancer of the bone marrow, as well as other potentially life-threatening blood disorders.

The beauty and consumer goods giant conducted a review of its portfolio of aerosol products in the wake of general concern surrounding traces of benzene in aerosol spray products.

While P&G emphasised that benzene is not an ingredient in any of its products, the company’s review showed that unexpected levels of benzene came from the propellant that sprays the product out of the can.

The list of the full 32 products can be found on P&G's website and the company stressed that other products from Pantene, Aussie, Herbal Essences, Hair Food and Waterless may continue to be used as intended.

Last week’s recall is not the first instance of voluntarily pulled cosmetic products due to benzene traces.

In November, P&G recalled 18 products from its Old Spice, Below Deck and Secret lines in the US, all of which fell into the aerosol body spray or antiperspirant category.

Meanwhile, in October, Beiersdorf recalled some of its Coppertone sunscreen launches for the same reason, and Johnson & Johnson pulled five aerosol sunscreens under its Neutrogena and Aveeno brands from retailers back in July.

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