A proposed class action claims certain Banana Boat sunscreen sprays have been contaminated with undisclosed benzene, a known human carcinogen.
The lawsuit out of Connecticut says that no mention of benzene is made anywhere on the sunscreens’ labels as either an active or inactive ingredient. The case contests that consumers would thus never expect the Banana Boat products to contain a “widely recognized and incredibly dangerous substance” such as benzene.
The suit contends that consumers have been misled by the defendants, Banana Boat makers Edgewell Personal Care Brands, LLC; Edgewell Personal Care, LLC and Sun Pharmaceuticals, LLC, and have overpaid for the sunscreens given the presence of benzene renders the products “in no way safe for humans and . . . entirely worthless.”
“Consumers expect the ingredient listing on the packaging and labels to accurately disclose the ingredients within the Products,” the complaint reads. “However, Defendants’ advertising and marketing campaign is false, deceptive, and misleading because the Products contain benzene, which Defendants do not list or mention anywhere on the Products’ packaging or labeling.”
According to the filing, benzene has been recognized as a carcinogen for roughly a century and has been categorized by the FDA as a Class 1 solvent that “should not be employed in the manufacture of drug substances, excipients, and drug products because of [its] unacceptable toxicity.” The FDA has noted that if the presence of benzene is unavoidable in order to produce a drug that provides a “significant therapeutic advantage,” its concentration should be limited to two parts per million (ppm), the complaint relays.
In light of the danger posed by exposure to benzene, recent research that revealed the presence of the substance in Banana Boat sunscreens is “particularly concerning,” the lawsuit argues. Central to the complaint is a study published by analytical pharmacy Valisure LLC that reportedly detected benzene in a variety of sunscreen and after-sun products. According to the suit, the Valisure study, which did not include every single Banana Boat product, revealed “widespread benzene contamination” among certain of the defendants’ Banana Boat sunscreen products, including:
The lawsuit notes that because the majority of the sunscreen products tested by Valisure did not contain benzene, its presence is not unavoidable in the production of sunscreens. Thus, it is possible for the defendants to have manufactured the above-listed Banana Boat items without any benzene, meaning the presence of the substance is likely due to contamination during the manufacturing process, the suit attests.
The case claims the defendants’ failure to warn consumers about the presence of benzene in its sunscreen products is “false, misleading, and deceptive.”
The proposed class action detailed on this page was initially filed in New York federal court before it was voluntarily dismissed and re-filed on November 29 with an additional plaintiff in Connecticut District Court.
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