A report by Fox News claims that a class action suit has been launched against Unilever in the US. The suit alleges that a product from the UK FMCG manufacturer’s TRESemme range causes hair loss.
Accoring to Fox News, the report says ‘the products contain an ingredient or combination of ingredients that causes significant hair loss and/or scalp irritation upon proper application’.
The ingredient in question is, preservative DMDM hydantoin. It’s safety is disputed and disputed and Unilever is charged with failing to warn consumers of the risks associated with the product’s use.
In a statement to Fox News the company said, “consumer safety is always our top priority and all TRESemme products are rigorously assessed to meet stringent safety standards,”
“While we do not comment on pending litigation, DMDM hydantoin is widely used in the beauty industry and has been confirmed by health authorities to be a safe and effective preservative.”
Unilever is said to have known that the ingredient in question could contribute to hair loss since 2012 as it recalled products from its Suave range in that year in light of complaints that they caused hair loss.
What is DMDM hydantoin?
According to chemicalsafetyfacts.org DMDM hydantoin is indeed a preservative in beauty products.
It is used in beauty products, like shampoo, to prevent them from spoiling.
Unilever’s claims that it is used in many beauty products is true. It has been certified as safe at 0.074 percent, or less by Cosmetic Ingredient Review and at a maximum of 0.6 percent by The Cosmetics Directive of the European Union.
The reason why people are skeptical of it’s safety is because it is a formaldehyde donor, which means it releases small levels of formaldehyde.
Formaldehyde is a toxic substance however, any concentrations you would be exposed to in personal care products wouldn’t be enough to cause harm to you. They wouldn’t allow them in the product if that was the case.
The question about this particular case, is where they using DMDM hydantoin at a concentration that was too high?
As the story continues we will find out why exactly TRESemme is being accused of causing hair loss and if it’s down to more than just DMDM hydantoin.
Photos via TRESemme
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