The Benzene Concern: Batiste Shampoos And The Consumer Safety Debate

does batiste shampoo have benzene

In 2022, an independent laboratory called Valisure tested 148 batches from 34 brands of spray-on dry shampoo and found that 70% contained benzene, a chemical that can cause certain blood cancers such as leukaemia. The brands with the highest benzene levels were DeMert Brand's Not Your Mother's, followed by Batiste. Valisure filed a petition with the FDA requesting that the products found to be contaminated with benzene be recalled.

In response to the petition and consumer concerns, Church & Dwight Co. Inc., the parent company of Batiste, announced that they would be voluntarily withdrawing certain batches of Batiste Dry Shampoo from the market. The withdrawal was a precautionary measure taken by the company to address the issue and ensure consumer safety.

While the current batches of Batiste Dry Shampoo do not contain benzene, customers are advised to exercise discretion while purchasing.

Characteristics Values
Does Batiste shampoo have benzene? Yes, according to a 2022 study by Valisure, an independent laboratory, Batiste shampoos had about 15 parts per million of Benzene.
Has Batiste shampoo been recalled? No, but the company has voluntarily withdrawn certain batches of Batiste Dry Shampoo from the market.
What is benzene? A colorless and highly flammable liquid with a sweet aroma. It is a known carcinogen and can cause serious health issues like cancer, respiratory irritation, skin irritation, and central nervous system effects.
What are the health risks associated with benzene exposure? Short-term exposure to high levels of benzene can cause dizziness, confusion, headache, tremors, unconsciousness, and even death. Long-term exposure can affect the bone marrow, leading to anemia and a weakened immune system. Benzene is classified as a Group 1 carcinogen and has been linked to leukemia and other forms of cancer.
What are the alternatives to Batiste shampoo? There are several alternative dry shampoos available that do not contain benzene, such as Kristin Ess Hair Fragrance Free Dry Shampoo Powder, Living Proof, and L'ange dry shampoo.


Batiste Shampoo Recall

In October 2022, an independent laboratory called Valisure filed a petition with the FDA, reporting that it had found benzene in 70% of the 148 batches of dry shampoo from 34 brands that it had tested. Church & Dwight Co.'s Batiste was among the brands that contained benzene, with levels of up to 15 parts per million.

Benzene is a known carcinogen, classified as a Group 1 carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). Exposure to high levels of benzene has been linked to an increased risk of developing leukemia and other blood-related cancers. It can also cause respiratory and skin irritation, as well as central nervous system issues such as dizziness, drowsiness, and headaches.

Batiste's Response

Following the Valisure petition, Church & Dwight Co. announced that they would voluntarily withdraw certain batches of Batiste Dry Shampoo from the market as a precautionary measure to ensure consumer safety. The company stated that they had previously confirmed with their ingredient suppliers that their products did not contain benzene and that they would evaluate Valisure's petition.

Consumers who have purchased Batiste dry shampoo products containing benzene may be eligible for compensation. A federal court approved a $3.1 million settlement deal in the consumer fraud class action involving Batiste, which includes a cash fund of $2.5 million for individual consumer payments and $600,000 in vouchers.

To ensure the safety of any cosmetic product, consumers can follow these steps:

  • Check the ingredients: Research the individual ingredients to understand their safety profile.
  • Read reviews: Look for any reported issues or concerns with the product.
  • Choose trusted brands: Opt for products from reputable brands that prioritize safety and transparency and are open about their ingredient lists.
  • Stay informed: Keep up to date with product recalls or safety alerts issued by health authorities.

Alternative Dry Shampoo Options

There are plenty of alternative dry shampoos available that do not contain benzene. Some options include:

  • Kristin Ess Hair Fragrance Free Dry Shampoo Powder
  • Self Absorbed Wet Dry Shampoo by the Daily Hair
  • Living Proof
  • L'ange dry shampoo
  • Klorane Dry Shampoo for Oily Hair
  • Trader Joe's dry shampoo
  • Tap Secret
  • Hask
  • Amika Perk Up Plus
  • Briogeo dry shampoo


Benzene's Health Risks

Benzene is a chemical that is a colorless or light yellow liquid at room temperature. It has a sweet odor and is highly flammable. Benzene is widely used in the United States and is one of the top 20 chemicals for production volume. It is used to make other chemicals, plastics, resins, nylon and synthetic fibers, lubricants, rubbers, dyes, detergents, drugs, and pesticides. Benzene is also a natural part of crude oil, gasoline, and cigarette smoke.

Benzene is a known carcinogen and is linked to an increased risk of cancer, particularly leukemia and other cancers of blood cells. Exposure to benzene can occur by inhalation, orally, and through the skin. Benzene has been found in dry shampoo products, including Batiste, and has been linked to an increased risk of cancer.

Batiste Dry Shampoo and Benzene

Batiste is a popular dry shampoo brand that was found to contain benzene in its formula in 2021. According to a lawsuit filed in October 2022, an independent laboratory, Valisure, tested 148 batches from 34 brands of spray-on dry shampoo and found benzene in 70% of the products. The lawsuit prompted the withdrawal of the affected batches from the market.

Health Risks of Benzene Exposure

Benzene exposure can lead to both short-term and long-term health effects. Short-term exposure to high doses of benzene can affect the nervous system, causing symptoms such as drowsiness, dizziness, headaches, tremors, confusion, and unconsciousness. It can also cause irritation of the eyes, skin, and respiratory tract.

Long-term exposure to benzene can have more serious consequences, primarily affecting the bone marrow and the immune system. It can cause a decrease in red blood cells, leading to anemia, a weakened immune system, and an increased risk of infection. Benzene exposure has also been linked to irregular menstrual periods and a decrease in ovarian size in women.

Reducing Exposure to Benzene

To reduce exposure to benzene, it is recommended to avoid cigarette smoke and secondhand smoke, as this is a major source of exposure. When pumping gas, use gas stations with vapor recovery systems that capture the fumes, and avoid skin contact with gasoline. Limit time spent near idling car engines, and use common sense when working with chemicals that may contain benzene, such as solvents, paints, and art supplies.


Other Dry Shampoo Alternatives

If you're looking for an alternative to dry shampoo, there are plenty of options to choose from. Here are some of the most popular and effective alternatives:


Cornstarch is a common household item that can be used as a dry shampoo alternative. It is safe, absorptive, and odourless, making it a great option for those who want to avoid strong fragrances. Cornstarch can be applied directly to the hairline or mixed with cocoa powder for darker hair to avoid any residue.

Baby Powder:

Baby powder is a well-known dry shampoo alternative, often used before the popularity of dry shampoos. It is absorptive and can be effective in removing excess oil from the hair. However, it can leave a white residue, especially on darker hair, so it should be used sparingly and brushed through the hair to distribute it evenly.

Arrowroot Powder:

Arrowroot powder is a natural starch used as a thickening agent in foods. It can also be used as a dry shampoo alternative, effectively absorbing oil and leaving a lightweight feeling on the hair. It is gentle on the scalp but can be messy, so it is best applied with a brush and massaged in.

Apple Cider Vinegar:

Apple cider vinegar is a surprising alternative to dry shampoo but can be very effective. It helps regulate oil production and has anti-inflammatory properties, promoting a healthy scalp pH. Mix apple cider vinegar with water in a spray bottle and spritz onto the roots of your hair. Allow it to dry, and then brush through.

Blotting Papers:

Blotting papers are typically used to absorb oil from the face, but they can also be used on the hair. Separate your hair into sections and gently rub the blotting paper along the roots to remove excess oil. This method may require multiple blotting papers, and paper towels can be used as an alternative in a pinch.

Hand Sanitizer:

The alcohol in hand sanitizer can help break down and absorb excess oil from the hair. Squeeze some onto your hands and run your fingers through your hair and scalp. However, this method may be too harsh for those with sensitive scalps or dandruff.

Makeup Setting Powder:

Makeup setting powder can be used to absorb oil and add a matte finish to the hair. Apply it with a clean blush brush or makeup brush, tapping it onto the roots instead of brushing it across.

Salt and Cornmeal:

Combining salt and cornmeal can create an effective dry shampoo alternative. The coarse nature of salt helps to bounce along the scalp, maximising the oil-absorbing properties of cornmeal. Use a ratio of one tablespoon of salt to half a cup of cornmeal, and apply it with a hairbrush.

These alternatives to dry shampoo can be a great way to absorb excess oil, add volume, and refresh your hairstyle without relying on traditional dry shampoo products.


The FDA's Role

The FDA plays a crucial role in overseeing and managing product recalls to ensure the safety of consumers. Recalls are a necessary action to protect the public from defective or potentially harmful products. While recalls can be initiated voluntarily by companies, the FDA also has the authority to request and mandate recalls if necessary. The FDA's role in a recall is multifaceted and involves several key steps:

  • Oversight and Strategy Evaluation: The FDA oversees the company's recall strategy and assesses the adequacy of their actions. This includes evaluating the effectiveness of the recall by reviewing the company's efforts to notify customers and remove the defective product from the market. If the recall is deemed ineffective, the FDA will request the company to take additional measures to protect public health.
  • Public Notification: The FDA plays a role in determining the need for public notification during a recall. While not all recalls are publicly announced, the FDA may issue a public notification if the product poses a serious health hazard or has been widely distributed. The FDA also has the authority to issue public notifications if the company fails to do so, prioritizing consumer safety.
  • Classification: The FDA assigns a classification to recalls based on the level of hazard to patients. Recalls are categorized into Class I, Class II, or Class III, indicating the relative degree of health hazard associated with the product being recalled.
  • Recall Monitoring: The FDA monitors the progress and effectiveness of the recall by requesting periodic recall status reports from the recalling firm. These reports include information such as the number of consignees notified, their responses, the quantity of products returned or corrected, and the estimated timeframes for completion of the recall.
  • Termination: The FDA determines when a recall can be terminated. This occurs when the agency concludes that all reasonable efforts have been made to remove or correct the defective product and ensure its proper disposition. The recalling firm may also request termination by submitting a written request along with relevant documentation.

In the context of the Batiste shampoo situation, the FDA's role would involve overseeing any voluntary recalls by the company and assessing their effectiveness. The FDA would also provide guidance and recommendations to the company regarding customer notifications and other aspects of the recall process. Additionally, the FDA would classify the recall based on the level of health hazard associated with the presence of benzene in the shampoo.

The FDA plays a critical role in safeguarding public health by ensuring that companies take appropriate actions during product recalls and that consumers are adequately informed about potential risks. Their involvement in product recalls helps maintain transparency and accountability, protecting consumers from defective or harmful products like those containing benzene.


Batiste's Response

At Batiste, we take the health and safety of our customers extremely seriously. We were shocked to learn of the recent findings by Valisure, an independent laboratory, that our dry shampoo products may contain benzene, a known carcinogen. We want to assure our customers that we are treating this matter with the utmost urgency and priority.

As a precautionary measure, we have voluntarily withdrawn certain batches of our dry shampoo products from the market. We are working closely with Valisure and other independent laboratories to conduct further testing and investigations to understand the extent of this issue. We are also in close communication with regulatory authorities and will take all necessary steps to ensure the safety of our products.

We understand that our customers may have concerns about the potential health risks associated with benzene exposure. According to health officials, exposure to benzene has been linked to cancers, including leukemia, and blood cancer of the bone marrow, as well as life-threatening blood disorders. We want to emphasize that the health and well-being of our customers is our top priority, and we are committed to taking all necessary actions to address this issue.

We would like to provide some context and clarity regarding the presence of benzene in our products. Benzene is not intentionally added to our dry shampoos or any other consumer products. It is important to understand that benzene is a natural component of crude oil, and the propellants used in aerosol products may be derived from crude oil. The contamination of our products likely occurred during the production process, and we are working diligently to identify the source and implement corrective measures.

We want to assure our customers that we have strict quality control measures in place and that all our products undergo rigorous testing to ensure they meet safety standards. However, in light of these recent findings, we are reevaluating our processes and working with our suppliers to ensure that our products are safe for consumer use.

We advise our customers to check the batch information on their dry shampoo products and discontinue the use of any affected batches. We deeply regret any concern or inconvenience this may have caused, and we are committed to providing transparent and timely updates as we work towards resolving this issue.

We thank our customers for their patience and understanding during this time. We will continue to provide updates and take all necessary actions to ensure the safety and well-being of our valued customers.

Frequently asked questions

Yes, in 2021, Batiste dry shampoos were found to have benzene in their formula.

Benzene is a colourless, highly-flammable liquid with a sweet aroma. It is a known carcinogen and can cause serious health issues if exposed to high levels over an extended period.

Exposure to high levels of benzene can cause:

- Cancer: Specifically acute myeloid leukaemia and other blood-related cancers.

- Respiratory irritation: Short-term exposure can cause coughing, wheezing, and difficulty breathing.

- Skin irritation: Direct contact can cause redness and dermatitis.

- Central nervous system effects: Symptoms include dizziness, drowsiness, and headaches.

In October 2022, an independent laboratory called Valisure filed a lawsuit against Batiste's parent company, Church & Dwight Co. Inc., and the company voluntarily withdrew certain batches of Batiste Dry Shampoo from the market. Batiste has also recalled these shampoos and promised to modify the formula.

Yes, there are several alternative dry shampoos available that do not contain benzene, such as:

- Kristin Ess Hair Fragrance Free Dry Shampoo Powder

- Living Proof

- L'ange dry shampoo

- Klorane Dry Shampoo

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