Recent studies show that several popular brands of dry shampoo contain a substance called benzene. Benzene is a known carcinogen that can cause certain types of cancer, such as leukemia and blood cancers. In response to this discovery, in November 2022, several manufacturers decided to issue voluntary product recalls of their dry shampoo products. However, other potentially dangerous dry shampoos are still on the shelves. Regardless, for those who have been using these potentially dangerous products for years, and face a possible future cancer diagnosis, a recall does not reverse the harm that’s already been caused.
If you used a dry shampoo that contains benzene or any other hair or skin care product containing the cancer-causing ingredient, the product might have caused irreversible damage, and you may have a legal claim against the company. If successful, you could recover meaningful compensation that will enable you to overcome many of the challenges you face. In addition, these product liability lawsuits also send manufacturers a strong message that they cannot continue to create and market products they know to be harmful.
At the law firm of Console & Associates, P.C., we recognize how scary and frustrating it is to learn that a product you’ve been using may have caused long-term damage to your health. And we want to join you in your journey to hold the manufacturers of these products accountable. Our team of personal injury lawyers is actively investigating product liability claims against the manufacturers of dry shampoo that contains benzene. As a part of our investigation, we are scheduling free consultations for individuals who used dry shampoo products containing benzene. We can help you understand your rights and explain your legal options.
Yes, according to a 2022 study conducted by Valisure, an independent laboratory that tests the safety of consumer products, approximately 70 percent of dry shampoos that the company tested contained benzene. The company’s study looked at “148 unique batches from 34 different brands,” finding that “70% of samples tested by Valisure in its recently filed FDA Citizen Petition showed quantifiable levels of benzene, and some samples analyzed directly from contaminated air suggest the sprayed product contained up to 170 times” the amount permitted by the Food and Drug Administration.
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Benzene is a colorless or light-yellow liquid when at room temperature. The chemical is primarily used as a solvent in the chemical and pharmaceutical industries and in gasoline. Benzene can be produced by both natural and man-made processes. It is a natural component of crude oil, which is where most of the benzene produced today comes from. Other natural sources include gas emissions from volcanoes and forest fires.
The FDA is aware of the serious danger of benzene and considers the chemical a “Class 1 solvent” that should not be used because of its unacceptable toxicity. However, even when benzene is a necessary ingredient in the manufacturing process, the FDA regulations state that there must be no more than two parts per million (“ppm”) of the substance. According to the 2022 study of dry shampoo, “some samples analyzed directly from contaminated air suggest the sprayed product contained up to 170 times the conditionally restricted FDA concentration limit of 2 parts per million (ppm).”
Benzene is recognized as a human carcinogen. Specifically, the chemical can cause humans to develop leukemia or other cancers of the blood. Some studies suggest that continued exposure to even low doses of benzene—such as 1 ppm—can result in someone developing cancer.
Of course, brands other than those listed here may contain benzene. In fact, Unilever, one of the largest consumer product and personal care manufacturers in the world, recently recalled many lines of the company’s dry shampoos over benzene concerns.
In November 2022, Unilever detected potentially elevated levels of benzene in several of its dry shampoo products. This prompted the company to issue a voluntary recall of 19 of the company’s dry shampoo lines, including:
In issuing a voluntary recall, Unilever is offering a refund to consumers for the price they paid for the product. Of course, for consumers who may have developed cancer as a result of the company’s dry shampoo, the company’s recall feels more like a slap in the face than a legitimate remedy. However, consumers who believe they have been affected by benzene-containing dry shampoo can also pursue a product liability claim against the manufacturer of the product.
A product liability claim is a type of personal injury lawsuit brought by a consumer who was injured by a dangerous or defective product. Most product liability claims are filed against the product manufacturer, although some proceed against distributors, retailers, and other parties in the distribution chain. The idea behind these claims is that manufacturers should be held accountable for whatever harms their products cause to consumers. Product liability claims recognize that manufacturers are in the best position to ensure the safety of their products and that consumers reasonably assume products are safe for use unless told otherwise.
One unique aspect of product liability claims is that, oftentimes, an injured party does not need to prove that the manufacturer was negligent; it is enough to show that the product contained a defect that caused their injuries. While this makes product liability claims easier to prove in some ways, there are still challenges that arise when attempting to establish a company’s product was defective or unreasonably dangerous.
If you are among the tens of thousands of consumers who recently learned that you’ve been using a dangerous dry shampoo product for years, it is completely understandable to be concerned. Unfortunately, the nature of this type of benzene exposure is such that you may not know if the product has caused irreversible damage.
The product liability attorneys at Console & Associates, P.C. are currently reviewing claims by dry shampoo users in hopes of helping them understand their rights and pursue compensation against these manufacturers. At Console & Associates, P.C., for the past 25 years, our product liability lawyers have been helping hold companies accountable for the dangerous products they sell. If you or a loved one developed cancer or another serious medical condition after using dry shampoo, the law firm of Console & Associates, P.C. can help. If you are interested in learning more about pursuing a dry shampoo lawsuit, reach out to an experienced product liability lawyer at Console & Associates, P.C., at 866-778-5500 or fill out our contact form. We will attentively listen to your story, answer your questions, and offer you guidance about how you may be able to pursue a claim against the parties responsible for your injuries or loss.