DeMert Brands has been hit with a proposed class action after some of its Not Your Mother’s dry shampoo products were reportedly found to be contaminated with “dangerous” levels of benzene, a known carcinogen.
The 27-page case says that U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations deem the cancer-causing chemical benzene unacceptable and unsafe in cosmetic products in any amount. Nevertheless, the beauty products company has failed to warn consumers that certain Not Your Mother’s dry shampoo products, including the Beach Babe, Clean Freak and Plump for Joy varieties, expose them to “high levels of acutely toxic” benzene, the suit alleges.
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Per the filing, the presence of benzene renders the products defective, adulterated and misbranded under state and federal laws. The relevant consumer protection statutes prohibit the manufacture and sale of adulterated or misbranded cosmetics since such products are essentially “worthless and have no value,” the case argues.
The lawsuit relays that Valisure, an independent laboratory, has recently petitioned the FDA after finding that certain dry shampoo products, including some from the Not Your Mother’s collection, contain levels of benzene that reach up to 158 parts per million (ppm). The complaint compares Valisure’s findings with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health’s recommendation that workers wear protective equipment if they might be exposed to benzene concentrations of 0.1 ppm or higher through “inhalation, skin absorption, ingestion, skin and/or eye contact,” the complaint explains.
“In its Citizen Petition, Valisure shows data from the analysis of benzene by directly sampling contaminated air after spraying dry shampoo products, which suggests potential for short- and long-term inhalation exposure to high levels of benzene,” the complaint says. “The presence of this known human carcinogen in dry shampoo products that are regularly used indoors and in large volumes makes this finding especially troubling.”
According to the case, benzene is a chemical primarily found in gasoline or used as a solvent in the chemical and pharmaceutical industries, and its adverse effects on health have been recognized for over a century. The filing relays that scientific authorities like the National Toxicology Program, the International Agency for Research on Cancer, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the World Health Organization (WHO) have all classified benzene as a carcinogen that is harmful to humans.
Even though the FDA recognizes benzene as a Class 1 solvent, a solvent known to cause unacceptable toxicities, drug products may contain benzene concentrations at less than two ppm if its use is “unavoidable,” but the FDA’s exception does not include cosmetics, the case relays.
The lawsuit looks to represent anyone in the United States who purchased any Not Your Mother’s dry shampoo products for personal use or consumption.
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