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Home products giant Procter & Gamble announced the voluntary recall of aerosol and shampoo products from brands such as Pantene, Herbal Essences and Old Spice due to a content problem.
In the affected products there were “unexpected levels” of benzene, a chemical that can cause disease, including cancer, when a person experiences high exposure to the substance.
The product recall also includes the Aussie, Waterless and Hair Food brands for a total of 32 presentations which are made in the United States and sold primarily in North America.
Benzene is commonly found in motor fuels and is used by some industries to make plastics and resins.
There is increased risk of developing leukemia when a person has been exposed to high levels of benzene.
Procter & Gamble said that benzene is not an active ingredient in its products and that the levels detected should not cause adverse health effects, according to the standards of the US Environmental Protection Agency.
“Daily exposure to benzene in recalled products, at the levels detected in our tests, would not be expected to cause adverse health consequences,” the company said in a statement.
Although the manufacturer did not disclose the number of products recalled from store shelves, it assured that it represents less than 1% of your hair care line.
“While benzene is not an ingredient in any of our products, our review showed that the unexpected levels of benzene were coming from the propellant spraying the product out of the can,” said Procter & Gamble.
The product recall was notified to the Food and Drug Administration, which did not comment on the news.
At the first announcement on Friday, the company’s shares fell 1.1%. But in Monday and Tuesday trading, the loss volume was reversed.
Earlier this year, US pharmacy chains recalled Johnson & Johnson’s signature sunscreen products after the company said it had detected benzene in some samples.
Where is benzene found and what symptoms does it cause?
According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), people can be exposed to benzene in everyday spaces:
- Outdoor air contains low levels of benzene from tobacco smoke, gas stations, vehicle exhaust, and industrial emissions.
- Indoor air generally contains higher levels of benzene than outdoor air. Benzene in indoor air comes from products that contain benzene such as glues, paints, furniture polish, and detergents.
- The air around hazardous waste sites or gas stations may contain higher levels of benzene than other areas.
- A major source of benzene exposure is tobacco smoke.
When a person was exposed for a long time, benzene causes the cells of the body to lose their functions.
“For example, it can cause the bone marrow to not make enough red blood cells, which can lead to anemia. In addition, it can damage the immune system by changing the levels of antibodies in the blood and causing the loss of white blood cells,” according to the CDC. .
The main effect of benzene by prolonged exposure occurs in the blood, hence it can lead to leukemia, which is a type of blood cancer.
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Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.