WASHINGTON, Dec. 28, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Toxin Free USA, a national public-interest nonprofit dedicated to consumer protection and education, filed a first-of-its-kind false advertising lawsuit against CoverGirl Cosmetics and Coty Inc. for environmental and product safety misrepresentations due to indicators of toxic PFAS chemicals found in their products.
CoverGirl represents itself as being a champion of “open, inclusive and sustainable beauty.” Coty, CoverGirl’s parent corporation, publishes a sustainability report that touts its environmental initiatives along with its “Product Safety” strategy. Toxin Free USA believes that consumers are being misled as products containing toxic PFAS chemicals are neither sustainable nor safe.
PFAS – perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances – are a class of over 8,000 man-made chemicals, and include PFOA, PFOS, and GenX. PFAS chemicals are also known as “forever chemicals” because they don’t break down in the environment. These chemicals can bioaccumulate in bodies over time and have been linked to cancer, autoimmune disease, thyroid disease, liver damage, decreased fertility, birth defects, hormone disruption, obesity and decreased immunity. First developed in the 1940s, PFAS are traditionally found in food packaging, nonstick pans, clothing, furniture, and firefighting foam.
A recent peer-reviewed study, published in Environmental Science & Technology, detected what the study’s authors characterized as “high” levels of organic fluorine, an indicator of PFAS, in over half of 231 makeup and personal care samples, including lipstick, eyeliner, mascara, foundation, concealer, lip balm, blush, and nail polish. “This is a product that people are spreading on their skin day after day, so there’s really a potential for significant exposure,” said Tom Bruton, one of the study’s authors. “Lipstick wearers may inadvertently eat several pounds of lipstick in their lifetimes,” said Graham Peaslee, senior author of the study.
This study launched a flurry of media reporting along with bipartisan bills introduced in Congress to ban the use of PFAS in cosmetic and personal care products. Currently, no federal bills have passed and the U.S. EPA has failed to take meaningful action.
Toxin Free USA executive director, Diana Reeves, said, “Based on the level of organic fluorine detected in our investigation, a worrying level of PFAS is likely present in CoverGirl pressed powder. Spreading this product on the skin can potentially result in harm from exposure to this dangerous class of chemicals. If regulators and politicians can’t get their acts together, then it’s up to us to hold these corporations accountable. We can’t let businesses hoodwink consumers by using safety and environmental sustainability claims that aren’t true.”
The CoverGirl suit, filed under the D.C. Consumer Protection Procedures Act by the nonprofit’s counsel, Richman Law & Policy, seeks to end Coty/CoverGirl’s deceptive marketing of its cosmetic products as “sustainable” or “safe.”
Read the full complaint here.
GMO/Toxin Free USA is a national 501(c)(3) nonprofit advocating for a clean, healthy food system and environment and educating consumers about the hazards of GMOs, synthetic pesticides and other toxins.
Diana Reeves, 347-921-1466, email@example.com