September 16, 2021

Chemical Sunscreen Class Action Lawsuits

As you likely know, the media has shined a spotlight on the sunscreen industry this summer. Recent studies have discovered carcinogenic contaminants in popular sunscreen brands and expanded our understanding of the toxicity of several chemical ingredients. In addition, sunscreen brands are under fire for false environmental and human health claims. In case you are not familiar with these stories, here is a brief overview. 

  • Which Sunscreens have Benzene? - A valisure study discovered over 70 batches of sunscreen that contain dangerous levels of carcinogen, Benzene. Several chemical sunscreen sprays were recalled in response. 
  • What’s wrong with Octocrylene in sunscreen?- This active chemical ingredient was found to break down into benzophenone, a potential carcinogen and known endocrine disruptor. Haereticus Environmental Laboratory has called for the FDA to pull sunscreens containing octocrylene
  • Which sunscreen chemicals are unsafe?Avobenzone, Oxybenzone, Octocrylene, Octinoxate, Homosalate, Octisalate - These chemicals are among 14 active sunscreen ingredients not recognized as safe and effective by the FDA. Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide (TropicSport active ingredients) are the only two recognized as safe and effective. 

In addition to human health concerns, all of the aforementioned ingredients pose ecological risks ranging from endocrine disruption in wildlife and marine ecosystems to rendering coral reefs more vulnerable to bleaching events. 


As consumers gain awareness of toxic sunscreens, class action lawsuits are gaining traction against sunscreen companies for human health concerns as well as false marketing claims about human and environmental health. Watch out for claims such as “Reef-Friendly” and “Mineral-based”. The terms “Reef-Friendly” and “Reef-Safe'' are not regulated by any government agency, meaning any sunscreen can legally make the claim. In this class action lawsuit, one of the largest sunscreen companies in the world is under scrutiny for including a “Reef-Friendly” icon on their packaging despite the fact that their product contains Avobenzone and Octocrylene, chemicals known to harm marine life. 

 “Mineral-based” is generally used to disguise the fact that a sunscreen has chemical ingredients. “Mineral-Based” sunscreens often contain a combination of zinc-oxide and active chemical ingredients. This class action lawsuit calls out a “mineral-based” sunscreen brand whose products include octinoxate and octisalate. According to the lawsuit

“Reasonable consumers, including Plaintiff, interpret “mineral-based” representations to mean that a product is free of chemical active ingredients, much in the same way that reasonable consumers understand that a product labeled “plant-based” does not contain meat.”


Class-Action Lawsuits


  • Lavalle v. Neutrogena Corporation et al.
  • Johnson & Johnson and Neutrogena face a class action over their marketing and sale of aerosol sunscreen products that contain benzene.
    07.15.2021

  • Somers v. Crown Laboratories
  • A class action alleges Crown Laboratories has misleadingly labeled its Blue Lizard-brand sunscreen as “mineral-based."
    05.05.2021

  • Condreay v. Edgewell Personal Care Brands, LLC
  • A lawsuit claims certain Banana Boat sunscreens have been falsely advertised as “Reef Friendly” when they contain ingredients deemed to be harmful to coral reefs.
    09.02.2021

  • Dominguez et al. v. Johnson & Johnson Consumer, Inc.
  • Johnson & Johnson faces a class action over its marketing and sale of aerosol sunscreen products that contain benzene.
    07.15.2021

  • Kenney v. Fruit of the Earth, Inc. et al.
  • A class action alleges Fruit of the Earth and CVS have falsely and misleadingly labeled certain sunscreens to the detriment of unsuspecting consumers.
    05.27.2021

  • Zapatero v. Energizer Holdings, Inc. et al.
  • A proposed class action claims the labels of certain Banana Boat sunscreens have failed to disclose that the products contain benzene, a known human carcinogen.
    06.17.2021

  • Prescott et al. v. Bayer Healthcare Pharmaceuticals Inc. et al.
  • Coppertone's "mineral-based" sunscreens are at the center of a lawsuit claiming the products contain far more synthetic chemical ingredients than advertised and expose babies and children to harmful ingredients.
    01.03.2020

  • Chabla v. Edgewell Personal Care Company et al.
  • A proposed class action claims the labels of certain Banana Boat sunscreens have failed to disclose that the products contain benzene, a known human carcinogen.
    06.17.2021

     

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    Willy Bemiss
    Willy Bemiss


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