Tampax Pure Cotton tampons are at the center of a proposed class action that alleges the products contain toxic per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) commonly known as “forever chemicals.”
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The 42-page complaint claims The Procter & Gamble Company (P&G) has misleadingly positioned Tampax Pure Cotton tampons as a natural, organic solution for women in search of safe menstrual hygiene products, including by stating on packaging that the tampons are “pure,” contain a “100% Organic Cotton Core” and marry “The Best of Science & Nature.”
In reality, however, independent testing commissioned by the plaintiffs has revealed that the Tampax Pure Cotton products contain PFAS, synthetic chemicals linked to various health issues and known to accumulate in the human body and environment, the suit says.
Filed amid increasing concern about the presence of harmful “forever chemicals” in menstrual items, the lawsuit argues that the presence of PFAS in the Tampax Pure Cotton products is “entirely inconsistent” with P&G’s “pure and organic” marketing, which the suit says the company “strategically employ[s] to convince health-conscious consumers that the Products are a pure and natural choice.”
According to the complaint, the “pure” and “organic” representations of the tampons are merely a marketing ploy designed “to drive sales and increase profits” at the expense of health- and environmentally conscious consumers, who would not have been willing to pay as much for the products, or purchase them at all, had they known about the alleged presence of toxic PFAS.
What are PFAS and why are they raising health concerns?
Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances are commonly called “forever chemicals” because of their propensity to resist breaking down in the environment, and for this reason, concerns have been raised about their ability to accumulate in the human body, the suit shares.
The case notes that exposure to PFAS can lead to various negative health effects, including decreased fertility, developmental effects or delays in children, increased risk of cancer, liver damage, thyroid disease, increased cholesterol levels and interference with the immune system and hormones.
Per the lawsuit, the alleged presence of PFAS in tampons and other menstrual products is “particularly serious” given that the vaginal ecosystem has been shown to be especially absorbent and sensitive.
Lawsuit says testing revealed presence of PFAS in tampons
The case claims the plaintiffs, three California consumers who say they were “specifically seeking out” chemical-free personal care products, commissioned independent third-party testing of the Tampax Pure Cotton tampons to determine whether they contained toxic chemicals.
According to the suit, the testing was performed in accordance with accepted industry standards, and found that the tampons contain organic fluorine, a “surrogate” for PFAS whose presence is a “widely accepted” indicator that a given sample contains the man-made toxic substances.
In light of the test results, the plaintiffs contend that P&G’s marketing of the Tampax Pure Cotton products is “misleading and deceptive”—especially since PFAS are not mentioned anywhere on the tampons’ packaging. Per the suit, the presence of PFAS in the Tampax Pure Cotton tampons poses “an ongoing risk to the public” and warrants a court order prohibiting P&G from “engaging in the wrongful and unlawful conduct alleged herein.”
Who does the lawsuit look to cover?
The case looks to represent anyone who, within the applicable statute of limitations period, purchased Tampax Pure Cotton tampons in the United States for personal use.
How do I join the lawsuit?
When a class action lawsuit is first filed, there’s usually nothing you need to do to join.
The time to take action is typically when (and if) the lawsuit settles, at which point those who are covered by the case, called the class members, should receive notice of the settlement with instructions on what to do next.
It can often take months or even years for a lawsuit to be resolved, but in the meantime, the best thing you can do is stay informed. If you purchased Tampax Pure Cotton tampons, or just want to stay in the loop on class action lawsuit and settlement news, sign up for ClassAction.org’s free weekly newsletter.