Plaintiffs Say Benzene-Tainted Banana Boat Sunscreens Are Deceptive, Adulterated And Thus ‘Worthless’
Putative class actions against sunscreen product manufacturers for alleged violations of federal and state laws due to benzene contamination can be traced to testing reported in May by independent quality assurance firm Valisure, which bills itself as “the pharmacy that checks.”
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Already in receipt of more than $9m in refund requests from purchasers of potentially benzene-contaminated Neutrogena and Aveeno sunscreen products following a July 2021 recall, J&J now is finalizing a US multidistrict class action settlement that will add to those costs and require steps to prevent further benzene issues.
There’s an increasingly familiar pattern to leading personal-care manufacturers’ benzene troubles in the states: Independent testing lab Valisure flags their product(s) as contaminated with the carcinogen; class actions file in federal courts; and, frequently, recalls are undertaken “out of an abundance of caution.”
“What started a couple years ago with the discovery of nitrosamine in blood pressure and heart medicine has since evolved to benzene in hand sanitizer and sunscreen,” says Sedgwick International’s Amanda Combs about “Valisure scenario.”