Drugs Pharma

Canada recalls Unilever’s dry shampoo products over cancer concern

HQ Team

October 21, 2022: Canada has recalled more than a million units of dry shampoo products of London-based Unilever after detecting a cancer-inducing agent, benzene.

The aerosol products were made before October 2021 and included Dove, Nexxus, Suave, TIGI (Rockaholic and Bed Head), and TRESemmé.

Health Canada, the national health agency, issued the recall for 1,574,426 units of the affected product, according to a statement on the government’s website.

The recall involves products sold in the US and Canada, according to a statement on Unilever’s website.

Internal investigation

“An internal investigation identified the propellant as the source, and Unilever has worked with its propellant suppliers to address this issue.” The company issued a voluntary recall in the US.

The US recall is being conducted with the knowledge of the US Food and Drug Administration.

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

Based on exposure modelling and the cancer risk assessments published by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) (IRIS database), daily exposure to benzene in the recalled products “at the levels detected in testing would not be expected to cause adverse health consequences,” according to the government statement.

No incidents

As of October 7, 2022, the company has received no reports of incidents or injuries related to using these products in Canada.

The products were made in the US. The affected products were sold from January 2020 to October 2022 by Unilever Canada in retail stores and online, the health agency stated.

Consumers must “immediately stop using the recalled product and dispose of it following the instructions for disposal on the packaging. Consumers may contact the company for reimbursement.”

‘Abundance of caution’

Unilever US recalls these products out of “an abundance of caution,” according to an online statement.

Unilever has received no reports of adverse events relating to this recall.

“The recalled products were distributed nationwide in the United States. Retailers have been notified to remove recalled products from shelves. This recall impacts no other products from Unilever or its brands.”

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