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All You Need To Know About Benzene, The Cancer-Causing Ingredient That Made Unilever Recall Their Dry Shampoos

October 27, 2022 | by Priyadarshini Malavia

Women’s products have been found to have questionable and potentially harmful ingredients under the name of beauty and maintaining beauty standards. And while we have come a long way, I feel like we are still discovering new things and haven’t fully understood what long-term effects certain chemicals have on our health. Recently, Unilever recalled a few of the dry shampoos made by brands owned by them as they used a cancer-causing agent, benzene. But what exactly is benzene and what are the ill effects of this chemical? 

In a press release earlier this month, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) stated that Unilever US had “voluntarily recalled” a small number of dry shampoo aerosol products from its brands Dove, Nexxus, Suave, TIGI (Rockaholic and Bed Head), and TRESemmé because of possible high levels of benzene. It was said that benzene is a “human carcinogen” and that there are three ways that people might be exposed to it: orally, topically, and through inhalation. According to the statement, it can lead to blood abnormalities that could be “life-threatening” as well as tumours like leukaemia and blood cancer of the bone marrow.

Also Read: Unilever Recalls Dry Shampoos In US And Canada Over Cancer Risk. Here’s A List Of All Brands Under the FMCG Giant!

What Is Benzene?

Benzene is a liquid chemical that is colourless or light yellow. It is largely employed as a solvent in the chemical and pharmaceutical sectors, as a precursor and an intermediate in the synthesis of many different compounds, as well as in the production of gasoline. Benzene belongs to the group of chemicals known as aromatic hydrocarbons. It is a naturally occurring substance that is created by the breakdown of organic matter in nature. Benzene induces cancer by obstructing the replication of DNA. The benzene molecule transforms into a substance that may irreversibly connect with DNA in our bodies when we are exposed to it, which is what really causes the difficulties with DNA replication and results in cancer we see in exposure cases.

Also Read: What Is Emotional Distance? What Are The Symptoms And Causes Of It?

Health Effects Of Benzene 

The nervous system can be negatively impacted by excessive levels of benzene in the air, which can cause weariness, headaches, spasms, confusion, and/or unconsciousness. A high benzene content in food or drink can also cause sleepiness, convulsions, nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, and a rapid or irregular heartbeat. When inhaled or consumed in excessively high amounts, it has the potential to be lethal. When benzene liquid or vapour is inhaled, the skin, eyes, and throat may become inflamed. After coming into touch with benzene, the skin can become irritated and swollen.

What Women Really Want: That Brands Stop Making Empty Ads About Empowerment And Discounts

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