Unilever Shampoo Recall: Some Bottles Contain Cancer-Causing Chemical


Unilever, a massive multinational manufacturer of various goods, has implemented a sweeping recall on several dry shampoo products. According to the recall notice, the dry shampoo products have been recalled due to “potentially elevated levels” of benzene, a chemical that has been known to cause cancer in humans. 

Notably, this recall was only announced last week, but only impacts dry shampoo products made before October 2021 , over a year ago. Read on for more information regarding this recall, which products are affected, and what you should do if you have purchased any of the impacted products. 

Which Products Are Affected?

Numerous products have been affected by this recall–for a full list, you should consult this table, which includes all of the UPC codes, lot codes, and product sizes of the various recalled items. In short, the recall covers aerosol dry shampoo products from brands such as Dove, Bed Head, Tresseme, and Nexxus. 

The products all use an aerosol propellant that Unilever says is the likely source of the elevated levels of benzene in the final product. If you’ve purchased any dry shampoo products from the aforementioned brands before October 2021, continue reading for more information on what to do.

Why Were They Recalled?

The recall was issued after it was discovered that these products contained unusually high concentrations of benzene, a chemical compound that can cause cancer in humans. The benzene is likely intermingling with the dry shampoo as a result of the aerosol propellant used in their bottles.

Unilever says it implemented the recall out of an abundance of caution and is unaware of any adverse effects from people using the dry shampoo products. Notably, if people who were exposed to benzene were going to develop any adverse effects, it would likely take over a year for these effects to manifest. 

What Should You Do?

If you’ve purchased any of the affected products, return them to the store you purchased them from to get a refund. If you can’t do so, simply discard the item right away and discontinue any further use. In the event that you purchased one of these products and used all of it before the recall was made public, don’t panic.

Unilever says an independent health study found that the levels of benzene present in the recalled products is likely not high enough to have any adverse effect on most people. The recall effort is being made out of an abundance of caution and to prevent any harmful exposure now that the company knows about the benzene levels.