Health Canada is warning Canadians that a couple of popular brands of hair products are being recalled due to the presence of the chemical hazard benzene.
A safety notification issued on Monday (Dec. 20) states that several batches of Herbal Essences and Pantene Aerosol Spray Dry Shampoo and Aerosol Spray Dry Conditioner are being recalled from the marketplace due to the "detection of benzene."
The products were manufactured in the United States and were sold in Canada from November 2018 to Dec. 17, 2021; the company reported that 800,183 units of the affected product were sold in Canada.
Consumers should stop using and appropriately discard the recalled aerosol spray products, and contact the company for reimbursement.
Health Canada notes that benzene is a "human carcinogen" and exposure to the chemical can occur by inhalation, orally, and through the skin. Exposure may lead to cancers including leukemia and blood cancer of the bone marrow, as well as life-threatening blood disorders. However, exposure modelling and risk assessments conducted by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) find that daily exposure from the recalled products isn't expected "to cause adverse health consequences."
As of Dec. 16, no illnesses have been reported related to the use of the affected products.
What you should do
Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled product and discard them.
Consumers can visit Pantene online or Herbal Essences online for more information about the impacted products and how they can receive reimbursement. If consumers have further questions, they can also seek more information via the Consumer Care team at 1-888-674-3631 from Monday to Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. EST.
Consumers should contact their physician or healthcare provider if they have experienced any problems that may be related to using these products.
The Food and Drugs Act (FDA) prohibits the sale of cosmetics that are either made with hazardous substances, or under unsanitary conditions, to users in Canada.
Health Canada would like to remind Canadians to report any health or safety incidents related to the use of this product or any other consumer product or cosmetic by filling out the Consumer Product Incident Report Form.