A proposed class action alleges Coppertone Water Babies (SPF 50) sunscreen is defective in that it’s contaminated with the chemical benzophenone, a known mutagen, carcinogen and endocrine disruptor.
The 29-page lawsuit was filed in New York against Coppertone maker Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals and parent Bayer AG, and alleges the companies have misrepresented to consumers that the sunscreen is “safe and gentle on a baby’s skin” and offers “unbeatable protection.” The suit goes on to chide Bayer for allegedly misrepresenting its “commit[ment] to quality, excellence, innovation and truth in labeling” given the apparent presence of the unsafe ingredient in Coppertone Water Babies sunscreen.
“Parents, like [the plaintiff], trust manufacturers like Defendant to sell Product(s) that are safe and free from harmful toxins, contaminants, and chemicals, but rather here, the Product contains benzophenone which is known to have significant and dangerous health consequences,” the complaint reads.
According to the lawsuit, the presence of benzophenone in Coppertone Water Babies sunscreen stems from the degradation (or contamination) of the active ingredient octocrylene, a synthetic chemical that protects the skin by absorbing ultraviolet (UV) radiation and dissipating it as heat.
Benzophenone is associated with a wide range of toxicities, the case says, including genotoxicity, carcinogenicity and endocrine disruption. Moreover, the suit relays that benzophenone is notorious for inducing dermatological pathologies, including contact dermatitis, erythema, urticaria and photoinduced dermatitis.
Per the lawsuit, the presence of benzophenone in food products or food packaging is banned in the United States, and the personal care products industry has admitted that benzophenone is a contaminant found in octocrylene that cannot be removed in its entirety during processing, the suit says. Further, benzophenone, given its ability to cause cancer, is included on the California Proposition 65 list, the case adds.
According to the suit, a March 2021 study in which a number of samples of Coppertone, Banana Boat and Neutrogena sunscreens were tested found that benzophenone was detected in each product that contained octocrylene, but not detected in products that did not contain octocrylene.
Overall, Bayer’s Coppertone Water Babies (SPF 50) sunscreen is an adulterated drug under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act due to the presence of benzophenone, the case alleges.
The lawsuit looks to represent all consumers who bought Coppertone Water Babies (SPF 50) for personal use during the fullest period allowed by law.
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