Undisclosed Benzene in Klorane Dry Shampoo Draws Milberg Lawsuit

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December 9, 2022

by Brian Eckert

Dry shampoo is designed to soak up dirt, oil, and grease from hair without washing it. But those who purchased Klorane dry shampoo may have gotten a bad deal due to the presence of benzene in the products, claims a Milberg class action lawsuit.

Did you buy Klorane dry shampoo? You may be automatically eligible to join this lawsuit and receive a monetary award if it results in a verdict or settlement.

About Klorane Dry Shampoo

Dry shampoo is a modern beauty product that takes its cue from the Victorian era practice of sprinkling arrowroot powder on the hair in lieu of bathing with soap. It’s made a comeback of late and many dry shampoo products that freshen up hair between regular wet shampooing are now sold.

Klorane—a Pierre Fabre brand—was the first dry shampoo on the market. Intended for new mothers in hospitals, Klorane was introduced in 1971. The manufacturer says that, since then, Klorane has become “the most awarded dry shampoo ever.”

Today’s dry shampoo is chemically a bit more complicated than the arrowroot that Victorians used. Klorane dry shampoo includes ingredients like butane, propane, alcohol, aluminum starch, oak kernel oil, cetrimonium chloride, hexyl cinnamal, and limonene.

But it’s an ingredient not listed on Klorane dry shampoo that has drawn a Milberg class action lawsuit.

Testing Finds Benzene in Many Popular Dry Shampoos

Pierre Fabre boasts that Klorane is free of harmful chemicals like parabens, sulfates, silicones, and triclosan. Conspicuously absent from its website or product labeling, however, is any mention of benzene—an industrial chemical that’s a known human carcinogen.

Benzene exposure from dry shampoo is especially troubling because the Product is applied to the scalp and around the face, with the remnants flying through the air, likely to be at least partially inhaled by the user and absorbed into their lungs. Thus, even a relatively low concentration limit can result in very high total benzene exposure.

Independent laboratory Valisure has revealed that it tested dry shampoo products and detected benzene in many of them, including the following Klorane formulations:

  • Klorane Dry Shampoo with Nettle Oil Control – Oily Hair
  • Klorane Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk Ultra Gentle – All Hair Types
  • Klorane Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk Ultra Gentle – Dark Hair
  • Klorane Detox Dry Shampoo with Organic Aquatic Mint – Pollution Exposed Hair

These products were found to contain benzene concentrations from 0.2 to 5.72 parts per million (ppm). FDA guidance states that, where the use of benzene is “unavoidable” to produce a drug with a “significant therapeutic advance,” benzene is restricted to 2 ppm.

But Valisure notes in a citizen petition to the FDA that dry shampoos “are not drugs and contain no active pharmaceutical ingredient for therapeutic purpose.” As a result, says Valisure, “any significant detection of benzene could be deemed unacceptable.”

Valisure is calling on the FDA to request a recall of benzene-contaminated dry shampoos and inform the public about these products, among other measures.

Plaintiffs Did Not Know About Benzene in Klorane Dry Shampoo

The Plaintiffs in Milberg’s Klorane dry shampoo class action lawsuit claim they did not know, could not have known, and had no reason to suspect that the products they bought contained, or may have contained, the carcinogen benzene.

They assert that, had they known about the possible benzene contamination, they would not have bought the products. Moreover, had the manufacturer tested for benzene and other impurities, as the law requires, the products would not have been available for purchase in the first place, the Plaintiffs say.

On behalf of themselves and others, the Plaintiffs seek to establish the following consumer classes:

  • U.S. consumers who purchased Klorane dry shampoo for personal or household use (“the Class”);
  • Illinois consumers who purchased Klorane dry shampoo for personal or household use (“Illinois Subclass”); and
  • Consumers in California, Florida, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, or Washington who purchased Klorane dry shampoo for personal or household use (“Consumer Fraud Multi-State Subclass”)

The lawsuit seeks compensatory, statutory, and punitive damages, injunctive relief, and attorneys’ fees and costs for class members. Milberg has also filed dry shampoo benzene lawsuits making similar claims against Paul Mitchell and Not Your Mother’s.

Milberg pioneered federal class action litigation and is a national leader in consumer class actions. Stay up to date with this case and all our cases on Facebook and Twitter and contact us if you believe your consumer rights have been breached.