Posted: January 24, 2023 Contributor: Maddie Quinn

Everything You Need to Know About the Thinx Period Underwear Lawsuit

Thinx, a period underwear brand you may be familiar with, has settled a class-action lawsuit in which customers alleged that the products contain potentially harmful chemicals. Third-party testing of the underwear revealed the presence of short chain per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), chemicals that do not easily break down and have been linked to adverse health effects.

What are PFAS and why are they harmful?

Per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are a group of man-made chemicals that are used in a variety of industrial and consumer products, including nonstick cookware, cleaning products, packaging, and stain-resistant coatings. These chemicals are known as “forever chemicals” because they do not easily break down in the environment and can remain in the body for long periods of time.

Health implications

PFAS have been linked to a number of health problems and have been found to accumulate in the blood of people and animals. According to the FDA, “While the science surrounding potential health effects of bioaccumulation is developing, exposure to some types of PFAS have been associated with serious health effects.”

Environmental concerns

In addition to the health concerns, PFAS are also harmful to the environment. They have been found in water and soil and have contaminated drinking water sources near industrial sites and military bases where firefighting foam was used. They are also toxic to wildlife and can harm the reproduction and growth of fish and other aquatic life.

Because of the potential risks to human health and the environment, there is a growing concern about the presence of PFAS in consumer products and a push for stricter regulations and limits on their use.

The plaintiffs accused the company of fraud and other deceptive practices as a result. In the complaint filed in May 2022, they elaborated “Through its uniform, widespread, nationwide advertising campaign, [Thinx] has led consumers to believe that Thinx Underwear is a safe, healthy and sustainable choice for women, and that it is free of harmful chemicals.”

Settlement details

Thinx denied the allegations and stated that PFAS have never been part of its product design and that it will continue to take measures to ensure the chemicals are not added to its products. As part of the settlement, Thinx has committed to paying up to $5 million to provide reimbursement, make changes to its marketing and production processes, and ensure that PFAS are not intentionally added to its underwear at any stage of production.

What can you do if you bought Thinx?

Customers who bought Thinx underwear between November 12, 2016, and November 28, 2022, can submit a claim online before mid-April for cash reimbursement for up to three pairs of underwear at $7 each or a voucher for a 35% discount on a single purchase of up to $150 (with a maximum discount of $52.50). You can submit a claim here.

 

Sources:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/wellness/2023/01/20/thinx-lawsuit-period-underwear-pfas-safety/

https://www.npr.org/2023/01/19/1150023002/thinx-period-underwear-lawsuit-settlement

https://www.fda.gov/food/environmental-contaminants-food/and-polyfluoroalkyl-substances-pfas

https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/statements-releases/2022/06/15/fact-sheet-biden-harris-administration-combatting-pfas-pollution-to-safeguard-clean-drinking-water-for-all-americans/

https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/63337079/1/dickens-v-thinx-inc/

 

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