L’Oreal Faces Class Action Lawsuit Over Presence of PFAS Chemicals
According to allegations raised in a recently filed class action lawsuit, L’Oreal falsely advertised its waterproof mascara products as safe, when in fact that cosmetics contain toxic synthetic compounds that have been linked to an increased risk of thyroid problems, cancer and other immunotoxic side effects.
The complaint (PDF) was filed by Rebecca Vega in the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey on April 8, claiming L’Oreal fails to disclose that multiple lines of its waterproof mascara cosmetic products contain harmful per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS).
Serious concerns have emerged in recent years about long-term side effects of PFAS chemicals, which have been used in a number of different products, including some food packaging materials, pizza boxes, popcorn bags, fabrics and nonstick cooking pans. However, the biggest problems linked to the chemicals have come from fire fighting foam, known as aqueous film-forming foams (AFFFs), which have caused widespread PFAS water contamination near airports, military bases and other fire training facilities, as well as reports of cancer among firefighters directly exposed to high levels of the chemicals.
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Exposure to firefighting foam chemicals may result in an increased risk of cancer for firefighters, military and airport personnel.Learn More About this Lawsuit
The L’Oreal class action lawsuit alleges that the manufacturer intentionally concealed information that six brand lines of waterproof mascara contains the cancer-causing chemicals, and that the company deceptively marketed the products as safe for use around the eyes, where the chemical could easily seep into the bloodstream.
The complaint cites a 2021 study performed by researchers at Notre Dame, which analyzed 231 cosmetic products from popular retails such as Ulta Beauty, Sephora, Target, and Bed Bath & Beyond to determine whether there was a presence of fluorine, which is an indicator of the presence of PFAS. The research indicates 29 products tested contained long-chain PFAS without any disclosure.
Following the release of the report, the lawsuit states independent third-party testing was performed and identified detectable levels of PFAS in the following L’Oreal waterproof mascara products;
- L’Oreal Voluminous Waterproof Mascara, Voluminous Lash Paradise™ Waterproof Mascara
- Maybelline Volum’ Express the Falsies Waterproof Mascara
- Maybelline Volum’ Express Total Temptation Waterproof Mascara
- Maybelline Great Lash Waterproof Mascara
- Maybelline Total Temptation Waterproof Mascara
Vega claims that L’Oreal deceptively purports that the company maintains scientific research centers across the world and makes claims such as “The Quality and Safety of Our Products Are Our Priority” and “Going above and beyond industry standards” ” by “providing the best ingredients, formulation, and performance”, when, in fact, the products contain synthetic chemicals that could pose serious harm to its consumers.
The lawsuit alleges L’Oreal knew its customers would rely on the packaging, labeling, ingredient list, and disclosures, yet continues to omit the fact that PFAS are detectable at harmful levels, placing profits over consumer safety. The lawsuit further notes that other waterproof cosmetic products sold by L’Oreal, such as lipstick, may also contain PFAS, since they involve similar ingredients. However, at this time no research proving this claims has been brought forth.
Vega’s lawsuit seeks class action status to represent herself and all other similarly situated, bringing forth claims of fraud, unjust enrichment, and breach of express and implied warranty, among others.
SylviaMay 18, 2023 at 12:28 pm
I have purchased the voluminous waterproof mascara for more than a decade I have two right now and I was unaware of all the toxins.
CeciliaOctober 12, 2022 at 3:33 pm
My name is Cecilia Ruiz u to this point I have used and lived L'Oreal's cosmetics. So I decided to do a review of theirEver Pure sulfate-free color care system about 4 months ago. Two weeks into using it I saw a significant loss of hair scarily. I haven't experienced any loss of hair until 3 weeks ago. I contacted them but all they said to me was," Our products don't make people lose their hair.[Show More]My name is Cecilia Ruiz u to this point I have used and lived L'Oreal's cosmetics. So I decided to do a review of theirEver Pure sulfate-free color care system about 4 months ago. Two weeks into using it I saw a significant loss of hair scarily. I haven't experienced any loss of hair until 3 weeks ago. I contacted them but all they said to me was," Our products don't make people lose their hair. Sorry to hear that but we can't help you. If you want we can send you some of our product coupons" I had my primary Dr. noticed my dramatic hair loss I brought him the Loreal hair products I was using.
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