Not Your Mother’s Shampoo Alleged to Contain Carcinogen

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November 11, 2022

by Brian Eckert

Not Your Mother’s brand of dry shampoo products contain the toxic chemical benzene, claims a lawsuit filed by class action attorneys at Milberg Coleman Bryson Phillips Grossman (“Milberg”). Consumers were not informed that benzene is found in these products and suffered damages, including economic damages and ongoing medical monitoring costs, the lawsuit claims. Anyone who purchased Not Your Mother’s shampoo may be able to join the class and receive an equitable share of any verdict or settlement.

FDA: Benzene Unacceptably Toxic

Benzene is a widely used industrial chemical. It’s found in crude oil and gasoline and is used to make detergents, drugs, pesticides, plastics, synthetic fibers, and many other materials.

The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), the National Toxicology Program (NTP), and the U.S. EPA classify benzene as a human carcinogen. Both human and animal studies have shown a link between benzene and blood-related cancers like leukemia.

According to the FDA, benzene should not be used in the manufacture of drug substances and drug products because of its unacceptable toxicity. If its use is unavoidable “in order to produce a drug product with a significant therapeutic advance” then its levels should be restricted to 2 parts per million (ppm), says the FDA.

Not Your Mother’s Shampoo Benzene Levels Exceed FDA Limits

Not Your Mother’s hair care products are made by DeMert Brands, Inc. They are sold at more than 25,000 stores nationwide and encompass dozens of items.

The Not Your Mother’s website boasts that, “We source clean, quality ingredients” and “We’re also always up-front about what’s in our products…Our labels never lie.”

But Milberg’s lawsuit alleges that many of these products contain benzene at concentrations nearly 80 times the FDA concentration limit of 2 ppm. The lawsuit also alleges that benzene is not a named ingredient on Not Your Mother’s product labeling or anywhere on its website.

These allegations are based on results from independent testing laboratory Valisure, which recently detected high benzene levels in popular dry shampoo products, including Not Your Mother’s dry shampoos. Valisure’s testing found benzene above the FDA concentration limit in 14 lots of Not Your Mother’s dry shampoos.

In a petition sent to the FDA, Valisure requested that the agency recall the following Not Your Mother’s products:

  • Beach Babe Texturizing Dry Shampoo
  • Beach Babe Texturizing Dry Shampoo – Toasted Coconut
  • Clean Freak Refreshing Dry Shampoo – Original
  • Clean Freak Refreshing Dry Shampoo – Unscented
  • Triple Threat Brunette Dry Shampoo – Hint of Brunette Tinted Powder
  • Plump for Joy Body Building Dry Shampoo – Orange Mango
  • Blonde Moment Dry Shampoo – Hint of Blonde Tinted Powder

Benzene-contaminated dry shampoo products made by Procter & Gamble and Unilever have already been recalled in response to the FDA petition. However, DeMert has yet to voluntary recall its Not Your Mother’s dry shampoo products adulterated with benzene.

Lawsuit Allegations, Plaintiff Claims, and Proposed Class

The presence of benzene in these products makes them illegal to sell under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetics Act (FDCA), say Milberg attorneys. And because benzene was not listed as an ingredient on any product labels or descriptions, consumers were misled into buying a product they may not have otherwise purchased.

No reasonable consumer would have purchased the Products had they known of the material omissions of material facts regarding the presence of benzene. Accordingly, Plaintiff and the proposed Class suffered injury in fact and lost money as a result of Defendant’s misleading representations and omissions and did not receive the benefit-of-the-bargain.

Lead plaintiff Mindy Collette attests that she bought Not Your Mother’s dry shampoo in the Bronx, New York on or around June 2021, and would not have done so—or would have paid substantially less—had she been aware of benzene in the product.

Collette brings this lawsuit on behalf of two classes:

  • A national class consisting of all persons who purchased any of the Products in the United States for personal use and not for resale within the United States.
  • A New York subclass made up of all persons who purchased the Products in the State of New York for personal use and not for resale within the State of New York.

The lawsuit cites violations of New York and federal law and seeks economic damages, punitive damages, medical monitoring costs, and attorneys’ fees.

Milberg is a national leader in class action litigation, with tens of billions of dollars recovered for our clients and a proud history of fighting corporate wrongdoing. Qualifying class members do have to hire an attorney. Our lawyers are representing all members on a contingency-fee basis.