Class action lawsuit sparks concerns about Not Your Mother’s dry shampoos

CHARLOTTE — A recent class action lawsuit says a dry shampoo sold in the U.S. had “dangerous” levels of benzene in it.

A 27-page lawsuit says dry shampoo products by the Not Your Mother’s brand, including Beach Babe, Clean Freek and Plump for Joy, expose consumers to “high levels of acutely toxic” benzene. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, benzene is a cancer-causing chemical and is unsafe in cosmetic products.

The lawsuit says an independent laboratory found some Not Your Mother’s shampoos had benzene levels reaching up to 158 parts per million (ppm), but the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health says workers should wear protective equipment if exposed to benzene concentrations of 0.1 ppm or higher.

According to the FDA, benzene has an “unacceptable toxicity” and if a company has to use the chemical it should limit it to 2 ppm.

That said, there isn’t any recall at present.

The FDA told Action 9′s Jason Stoogenke:

“The FDA is committed to ensuring marketed products Americans use are safe and effective. The FDA continues to monitor the issue of benzene in marketed products and is proactively working with companies, when appropriate, to recall products and encourage retailers to remove products from store shelves and online marketplaces when quality issues arise. The FDA is evaluating the root cause of benzene contamination and has alerted companies to the risk of benzene contamination in marketed products and reminded them of their obligation to ensure their products meet appropriate quality specifications. We continually gain additional knowledge about marketed products which allows us to identify and quickly address previously unknown risks to consumers. The FDA will communicate new information as it becomes available.”

LINK: FDA recalls, market withdrawals and safety alerts

LINK: Frequently asked questions about benzene contamination in consumer products

Karen Lingerfelt told Stoogenke she loves Not Your Mother’s dry shampoo. “It gives you the opportunity to be able to skip a day of washing your hair, which can usually be a time consuming thing for a woman. So you use the dry shampoo, throw it in there, mix it up a little bit, good to go,” she said.

But now she’s worried about using it.

“I’ve definitely made a decision to not continue using it, so I will be throwing away all those products. Just because you never know. I would rather err on the side of caution even if the FDA hasn’t taken it off, even there is no recall. It’s not worth it to me to save those few minutes every other day to use it and end up with potentially a life-threatening illness,” she said.

Stoogenke emailed the company that makes Not Your Mother’s and it didn’t respond in time for this report.

VIDEO: Recall alert: Dry shampoos may contain cancer-causing chemical, according to FDA