If you use dry shampoo to keep your hair feeling fresh between wash days, you might want to check out the brand.
A number of dry shampoos have been voluntarily recalled on high levels of a carcinogenic chemical, benzene, which has been linked to leukemia and other blood disorders, according to the Food and Drug Administration.
But a class action lawsuit says Unilever, the company that makes the products, was familiar with the chemical long before the recall.
“This has always been known to be a dangerous drug,” said Dr. June McKoy, a professor of medicine at Northwestern University School of Medicine. “I can’t believe Unilever can say they don’t know about it. They knew, or should have known, because the public knows that gasoline is dangerous at this point.
Gasoline is a popular chemical, McKoy said, found in gas, shampoo, pesticides and the workplace.
“We know that what benzene does, it can get into the bone marrow, the soft part of the bone, where blood cells are made and can actually change the genetic makeup of the bone marrow,” he said.
Changing the composition of the DNA is what can lead to leukemia.
The lawsuit alleges that Unilever knew about the harms of benzene since November 2021, after an independent laboratory filed a petition to the FDA.
However, the company did not warn consumers or withdraw the products from sale until October 18, 2022, when it released a declaration issuing a voluntary recall, according to the cause.
“Failed to warn. The failure to actually pull the product from the market early enough has exposed people who normally wouldn’t have been exposed since that time period they claimed to have been made aware of, it has put those people in danger,” McKoy said.
McKoy suggests that people who have used recalled products should stop using them and get tested to ensure proper red and white blood cell counts, as well as platelets.
However, he does recommend people keep the products for proof.
“I would actually package those products and store them because you might need to take them as proof that you were using these particular products to an attorney who could take your case,” she said.