Popular period underwear brand Thinx has settled a class-action lawsuit for $5million, after a customer accused it of misleading consumers by using chemicals in its products which have been linked to chronic health problems.
The brand, which continues to claim it creates “thoughtful products without harmful chemicals”, denied the allegations, but agreed to partially reimburse customers who had bought up to three pairs of underwear between 12 November 2016 and 28 November 2022 – according to the New York Post.
In the lawsuit, plaintiff Nicole Dickens alleged that Thinx period underwear contains PFAS chemicals (or ‘forever chemicals’, named so due to their inability to naturally break down), which could potentially cause health issues such as increased cholesterol or higher risk of cancer. She claimed that after commissioning independent tests on the pants, high levels of fluorine were found, which indicates the presence of polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS).
While PFAS have been linked with worrying health problems in humans, research is still limited, particularly in the UK. Many campaigners and toxicity experts, however, are concerned about the levels of these chemicals within our water supplies, food packaging and other everyday products. It is thought that all humans have PFAS chemicals within their bloodstreams, at this point, due to their mass use in consumer products since the 1940s.
GLAMOUR reached out to Thinx for comment following the settlement. It responded: “We take customer health and product safety seriously. We can confirm that PFAS have never been part of our product design. We will continue to take measures to ensure that PFAS are not added to our products. The litigation against Thinx has been resolved, the settlement is not an admission of guilt or wrongdoing by Thinx, and we deny all allegations made in the lawsuit. We will continue to focus on bringing innovative, safe, and comfortable leak protection underwear to consumers.”