Fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) giant Unilever’s recall of dry shampoo products manufactured under brands like Dove, Tresemmé and other brands in the US and Canada markets will not impact India, the company’s Indian unit Hindustan Unilever (HUL) said.
According to the company, it does not manufacture or sell the products in the Indian market.
“HUL does not manufacture or sell dry shampoos in India. Unilever US and Canada voluntarily recalled select lot codes of dry shampoo produced prior to October 2021 out of abundant caution, after an internal investigation identified elevated levels of benzene,” the company said in a statement.
Furthermore, an independent health hazard evaluation concluded that levels of benzene detected do not pose a health risk, it said, adding, “If consumers have any questions, they can visit www.UnileverRecall.com for more information.”
On October 25, several reports surfaced talking about the recall of dry shampoos manufactured by Unilever. According to a notice posted on the US Food and Drug Administration’s (USFDA) website, the company is recalling products under brands such as Dove, Tresemme, Nexxus, Suave, TIGI (Rockaholic and Bed Head).
HUL sells soaps, shampoos and other skincare and haircare products under Dove and shampoos and conditioners under Tresemme in India. The company is yet to enter the dry shampoos market in India, which has the presence of a few premium brands like Batiste, Wella Professionals and Kerastase.
The voluntary recall by Unilever comes after concerns over the quantity of benzene in these products, which according to USFDA’s notice is classified as a human carcinogen.
“Exposure to benzene can occur by inhalation, orally, and through the skin and it can result in cancers including leukaemia and blood cancer of the bone marrow and blood disorders which can be life-threatening,” USFDA said in its notice.
According to the notice and HUL’s statement, though the levels of benzene found in its products while testing would not be expected to cause adverse health consequences, Unilever in the US was recalling these products out of an abundance of caution. “Unilever has received no reports of adverse events to date relating to this recall,” said the USFDA.
Last year, another FMCG major Procter & Gamble Company recalled aerosol dry conditioner spray products and aerosol dry shampoo spray products from Pantene, Aussie, Herbal Essences and Waterless brands produced in the US due to the presence of benzene.