You recently bought a favourite personal care product in a spray can. Perhaps it was a deodorant, a dry shampoo, a sunscreen? It was then recalled.

Product recalls are not uncommon.  

Unilever ‘s dry shampoo was a recent culprit. So was Dove’s, TIGI, TRESemmé and Sauve. And Bed Head. Not a first either. Nor is it because of the dry shampoo. The recall is because of the benzene present in the can. Not necessarily in the dry shampoo itself, but then again, maybe.

Traces of the toxic benzene have been found in Banana Boat sunscreen.  And Old Spice, Secret Pantene, Neutrogena, Aveeno to name a few more.  Odor Eater foot spray was recalled too. 

The benzene may have come from a contaminant in one of the other ingredients (ouch!) or it may have come from the propellant, or gas which pushes the product out of the can. 

Benzene is a liquid,  almost colourless. It has a sweet smell and is highly flammable.  

Aerosol cans are convenient packaging and are best shaken before use, to ensure the chemical and propellent are properly mixed together. Paint, detergents, skin care.  We are all familiar with the shake and spray. While most of us might prefer to spray our aerosols outdoors, it is hardly convenient to run outside when we are in the middle of our grooming routine. So we spray inside.  We inhale the propellant, the benzene , the toxin., a carcinogen.  This is not a good thing.  

Products that may contain benzene are paints, solvents, glues.  It may also be present in lubricants, medications, dyes, detergents and pesticides.  It may be found in plastics, rubbers, resins, nylon and other synthetic fibers.  And in some foods.  And some skin care. A rather long and scary list.

You might have to exist in a bubble to avoid it altogether. However, we should be aware. Buy your skin care products in non-aerosol containers. 

Earth to Body deodorants and weather protectants do come in a spray , but non-aerosol  containers.  Our spray and or spritz containers are not propellant based.  No benzene there.

Now that you are aware, the next time you are considering a skin care product in an aerosol can, think twice.