The following is an excerpt from MedPage Today.
Dry shampoo has joined the growing list of cosmetic and hygiene products that contain benzene, a known human carcinogen, according to an analysis from the independent laboratory Valisure.
Of 148 batches of dry shampoo spray from 34 different companies, 70% contained quantifiable levels of benzene.
Some products contained up to 170 times the FDA-imposed benzene limit of 2 parts per million (ppm), Valisure found.
For example, Not Your Mother's dry shampoo had a benzene concentration of up to 340 ppm. Other brands whose products contained benzene levels above the FDA limit included Paul Mitchell, Sun Bum, Batiste, Sebastian, and Redken, among others.
Valisure filed a citizen petition with the FDA Monday, requesting a recall of contaminated dry shampoo products. They also asked the agency to redefine and clarify benzene limits in cosmetics and other regulated products, noting that their findings represent the highest and most broadly detected levels of benzene that it has found in a consumer product to date.
"The detection of high levels of benzene in dry shampoos should be cause for significant concern since these products are likely used indoors, where benzene may linger and be inhaled for prolonged periods of time," David Light, CEO of Valisure, said in a press release.
Benzene, which is used primarily as a solvent in chemical and pharmaceutical industries, is known to cause leukemia or other blood disorders in humans. Trace levels of the carcinogen can be found in cigarette smoke, gasoline, glues, adhesives, cleaning products, and paint strippers. It is also a contaminant in the petroleum industry, the press release noted.
The high presence of the cancer-causing agent in these hygiene and cosmetic products is evidence that further industry and regulatory action is needed, Light said.
The FDA has alerted drug manufacturers to benzene contamination in recent months, clarifying that they should appropriately test their products for levels above 2 ppm.
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