Serving Iowa Families Statewide | Se Habla EspaƱol

P&G Recalls Products with Known Carcinogen

Procter & Gamble issued on Dec. 17 a voluntary recall of 32 aerosol hair products after benzene was detected in some of the products. Benzene is classified as a human carcinogen.

The recalled products are spray dry shampoo and conditioners from the following brands:

  • Pantene
  • Aussie
  • Herbal Essences
  • Old Spice
  • Secret
  • Hair Food
  • Waterl<ss

According to the company, benzene was detected in the propellent that sprays the product, but not in the product itself. No adverse events have been reported to date related to the use of these products.

Importantly, issuing a recall does not absolve a company from liability for defective products.

What Should I Do if I Have a Recalled Product?

The product codes associated with the P&G recall can be found on the company’s website. The codes are generally found on the bottom of the can. If your product matches the recall, you should discontinue using the product immediately.

You are entitled to a full refund of your recalled product. Visit that product’s website to learn more about reimbursement for eligible products.

The recalled hair products are sold throughout the U.S. in retail outlets and online.

What Is Benzene?

Benzene, also known as benzol, is a colorless liquid with a sweet odor. Benzene evaporates into the air very quickly and is highly flammable. The chemical compound is a byproduct of crude oil, which permits its classification as an elementary petrochemical.

How Is Benzene Dangerous to Humans?

Benzene is a human carcinogen, meaning it can cause cancer in people. Exposure to benzene through the skin or inhaled has been linked to cancers like leukemia, blood cancer of the bone marrow, and other life-threatening blood disorders. Benzene can also be passed from mother to unborn baby through the bloodstream but effects on a baby are unknown.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published a Public Health Statement for hazardous substances including benzene.

How Are Humans Exposed to Benzene?

Proof of the pervasiveness of benzene is the fact that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has been identified the carcinogen in nearly 60% of all national cleanup sites. Yet living near a Superfund site to be impacted by benzene.

Major sources of benzene exposure include the following:

  • Tobacco Smoke
  • Automobile Exhaust
  • Vapors from Glues & Paints
  • Gases from Furniture Wax & Some Detergents

People living in cities are generally exposed to benzene at higher levels than people living in rural areas. Individuals employed in industries that make or use benzene may be at the highest levels of exposure to benzene. Benzene can enter your body through the lungs, gastrointestinal tract, and skin.

Levels of benzene are increased around typical gas stations, manufacturing plants, and hazardous wastes sites. Families are advised to not allow children to play near these elevated benzene contamination areas.

What Are the Symptoms of Benzene Poisoning?

If you or a family member has been accidentally exposed to excessive benzene levels, symptoms can include the following:

  • Drowsiness
  • Dizziness
  • Irregular Heartbeat
  • Headaches
  • Tremors
  • Confusion
  • Unconsciousness and Death

A physician can determine if you have elevated benzene levels through bloodwork.

Is the Proctor & Gamble Recall Isolated?

The recall by Proctor & Gamble is just the latest this year for benzene.

Other companies recalling products because of the presence of benzene include these household names:

All the above recalls were voluntary. Defective products are recalled on either a voluntary or mandatory basis. There are three classifications of product recalls:

  • Class I: Recalls for products that could cause serious injury or death
  • Class II: Recalls for products that might cause serious injury or temporary illness
  • Class III: Recalls for products that are unlikely to cause injury or illness, but that violate FDA regulations

Companies can still be held financially liable for any injury caused by their defective products.

Legal Counsel to Hold Companies Accountable

You and your family deserve insightful and strategic legal advice if you have been harmed by a defective product. Manufacturers, designers, distributors, retailers, and others must uphold their responsibilities to bring safe products to consumers.

At Hope Law Firm, we have helped Iowans since 2003 stand up to companies and corporations that failed their responsibilities. Our experienced team has handled many lawsuits fighting to give our clients the compensation they deserve.

If you have been injured or harmed by a defective product, contact us to discuss your case. Schedule your free consultation by calling (515) 298-5056 or by submitting our online form.