Burt’s Bees Products Company and the Clorox Company have been accused of manufacturing cosmetic products containing “forever chemicals”. This accusation follows similar complaints about a number of long-lasting and waterproof makeup products from multiple manufacturers including Loreal, Maybelline. Cover Girl and others.
PFAS Found in Burt’s Bees Cosmetic Products
Burt’s Bees sells skin care and cosmetic products that are perceived as “natural”. The company was founded on the philosophy of skin care which is “kind to skin & planet”. Consumers purchase the products, often at a higher price than similar items based on its reputation of reliable quality and natural ingredients.
The company’s website touts Burt’s Bees products as “consciously crafted with ingredients from nature”, free from “chemicals of concern”. However, some Burt’s Bees products may contain chemicals that are known to be harmful and are not listed on labeling including Burt’s Bees Nourishing Mascara, Lip Shimmer and Lip Gloss. Other products may also be included.
PFAS Forever Chemicals Spark Lawsuits
In addition to previous lawsuits filed against national cosmetics companies, Burt’s Bees and Clorox may be facing a new round of lawsuits over its failure to disclose that some of its makeup or cosmetic products contain polyfluoroalkyl and perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), known to be toxic to humans. PFAS have also become known as “forever chemicals” as they do not break down easily, either in the environment or in the body and stick around “forever”
PFAS or forever chemicals have been linked to serious health concerns including:
- Infertility issues
- Liver damage
- Thyroid disorder
- Low birth weight
- Hormone disruption
- Weakened immune system
PFAS are found in a number of consumer products such as spray paint but may be used in makeup to increase wearability, longevity, and shine.
Concern Over PFAS in Makeup
As the recent concerns have emerged over makeup products, the problem is that many of them, including Burt’s Bees, do not list PFAS or any similar chemicals on their ingredients labeling. In addition, the presence of PFAS in makeup is particularly concerning as they are used on sensitive areas of the face, where absorption or ingestion is likely to be concentrated. Over the lifetime, cosmetic users may consume pounds of the chemicals and as they do not easily break down, the health effects last for long periods of time. When washed off, the chemicals may contaminate water.
In the case of other makeup brands found to have PFAS, most of them are described as “long-lasting”, “waterproof”, “all-day” or similar. The testing for brands including Loreal, Maybelline, Estee Lauder, Cover Girl, and others was conducted by researchers at the University of Notre Dame.
A class-action lawsuit has been filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. The lawsuit claims the products have been independently tested and found to contain PFAS which are not listed on product labeling and that the company used false or deceptive advertising.