High levels of benzene, a cancer-causing chemical, have been found in more brands and lots of dry shampoo products, according to a new report from Valisure, an independent laboratory.
Just last month, certain aerosol dry shampoos – including some products from Dove, Nexxus, Suave, TIGI and TRESemmé – were voluntarily recalled due to the possible presence of benzene.
Then on Monday, Valisure sent a citizen petition to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, in which the lab described that among 148 batches of 34 different brands of dry shampoo products, 70% of the samples tested had “quantifiable” benzene levels.
According to their report, 11 samples showed levels more than 10 times the 2 parts per million (ppm), the FDA limit for drugs.
“However, the dry shampoos tested are not medicinal products and do not contain any active pharmaceutical ingredients for therapeutic purposes; therefore any significant detection of benzene could be considered unacceptable. In addition, Valisure shows data from the analysis of benzene by direct sampling of contaminated air after spraying dry shampoo products, suggesting the possibility of short- and long-term inhalation exposure to high levels of benzene. The presence of this known human carcinogen in dry shampoo products that are regularly used indoors and in large quantities makes this finding particularly concerning,” wrote David Light, Valisure’s Chief Executive Officer, and Qian Wu, Valisure’s Head of Global Analytics. in the FDA Citizen Petition.
The petition calls on the FDA to “quickly request recalls” for affected lots of benzene-containing products and to better establish limits for benzene contamination in other products.
The FDA typically takes 180 days to respond to a citizen petition.
In summary, three batches of one brand’s dry shampoo products contained sprays with more than 100 ppm benzene, according to the petition, and some samples tested by Valisure had more than 10 times the FDA drug limit. The petition also mentions that Valisure has also discovered benzene in other commonly used products, including certain hand sanitizers and sunscreens.
CNN contacted the brands listed in the petition and asked the FDA for comment, but did not immediately receive feedback from all.
In a statement, Church & Dwight, the maker of Batiste hair products, said: “Consumer safety is of the utmost importance. When it was reported that propellants were the source of benzene in competitor recalled products, we contacted our propellant suppliers and verified with these suppliers that the propellants used in our Batiste products do not contain benzene. We will evaluate the report at the heart of the recent allegations.”
Valisure’s Light said in a new publication: “The detection of high levels of benzene in dry shampoos should be of considerable concern as these products are likely to be used indoors where benzene can remain and be inhaled for long periods of time.
“These and other issues identified by Valisure, including detection of benzene in body sprays, hand sanitizer and sunscreen products, strongly underscore the importance of independent testing and its need to be better integrated into an increasingly complex and vulnerable global supply chain.”
In the past year, several deodorants and sunscreens have been recalled due to benzene finds.
Benzene is formed by both natural and artificial processes. “Natural sources of benzene are volcanoes and forest fires. Benzene is also a natural component of crude oil, gasoline and cigarette smoke,” according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“The primary route by which humans are exposed is through inhalation of air containing benzene,” according to the American Cancer Society.