The risks of benzene
October 25, 2022

The Risks of Benzene

The recent Unilever Dry Shampoo Recall has many of us in the health and wellness industry shaking our heads and asking, "Why is benzene used at all?". In all, NINETEEN products were voluntarily recalled (oh how nice of them, we should definitely trust them in the future) because of the "potentially elevated levels of benzene." 

According to the FDA:

"Benzene is classified as a human carcinogen. Exposure to benzene can occur by inhalation, orally, and through the skin and it can result in cancers including leukemia and blood cancer of the bone marrow and blood disorders which can be life threatening."

According to the CDC

  • Benzene is a chemical that is a colorless or light yellow liquid at room temperature. It has a sweet odor and is highly flammable.
  • Benzene evaporates into the air very quickly. Its vapor is heavier than air and may sink into low-lying areas.
  • Benzene dissolves only slightly in water and will float on top of water.

The main way people are exposed to benzene is through personal care products that use benzene in their spray propellants. "

"The highest detections of benzene have been in aerosol spray products. FDA scientists hypothesize that contamination may come from inactive petroleum-derived ingredients, such as carbomers, a thickening agent, or isobutane, a spray propellant."

Wait, did you read that? FDA scientists HYPOTHESIZE? So they aren't testing products for it? Hmmmm.

How about banning aerosol products in general so we don't expose humans to daily contact? 

What are safe alternatives? We love the Dry Shampoo that Red Oak Refillery sells