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ArtNaturals Hand Sanitizers Benzene Content Class Action

This class action brings suit against Virgin Scent, Inc., which does business as ArtNaturals, for its hand sanitizer products. The complaint alleges that the hand sanitizers contain benzene, which is a known carcinogen, “at levels many multiples of the emergency, interim limit set by” the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

The class for this action is all individuals and entities in the US and its territories and possessions who, since April 1, 2020, bought a hand sanitizer product, not for resale or distribution, that was made, distributed, or sold by Virgin Scent or ArtNaturals. This class action does not include claims for personal injury.

According to the complaint, the FDA, the Department of Health and Human Services, the World Health Organization (WHO), and the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) all claim that benzene is a carcinogen and/or that it can cause cancer in human beings.

The complaint quotes California’s Proposition 65 Fact Sheet for benzene as saying that benzene “can cause cancer and birth defects or other reproductive harm. Exposure to benzene can cause leukemia. Exposure to benzene during pregnancy may affect development of the child. It may also harm the male reproductive system.”

This is not the image that ArtNaturals seeks to project. The complaint quotes its website as saying that “ArtNaturals was born out of a desire to free beauty from high prices, toxic chemicals and all-around bad vibes,” and that its products are “CHEMICAL FREE—We use only nourishing, natural ingredients to boost your beauty with no preservatives, parabens, or phthalates to drag you down.”

Furthermore, the company claims that its hand sanitizer is “plant-based” and “natural” as well as “Recommended for Repeated Use” and “Safe for Kids.”

The FDA considers hand sanitizers to be over-the-counter (OTC) drugs, subject to the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FDCA). Since ArtNaturals does not disclose that its hand sanitizers contain benzene, the complaint alleges that it is misbranded or mislabeled.

The complaint claims, “Until early March 2020, the FDA did not allow any benzene in hand sanitizer products given its carcinogenic and reproductive toxicity potential.”

However, as the Covid-19 pandemic increased the demand for hand sanitizers, outstripping the supply, more companies began producing the product and the FDA brought out a Temporary Policy for Preparation of Certain Alcohol-Based Hand Sanitizer Products During the Public Health Emergency (Covid-19), Guidance for Industry. The new Guidance established a temporary limit for benzene of 2 ppm.

In March 2021, the analytical laboratory Valisure found high levels of benzene and other contaminants in hand sanitizers from different makers. It submitted a citizen petition to the FDA later that month, reporting its testing results. The complaint alleges, “The hand sanitizer products with the highest levels of benzene in Valisure’s testing were those marketed by [ArtNaturals]. Two samples of … ArtNaturals-branded hand sanitizer products tested by Valisure contained benzene at 16.1 and 15.2 ppm—approximately eight times the emergency, interim limit established by the FDA.”

Article Type: Lawsuit
Topic: Consumer

Most Recent Case Event

ArtNaturals Hand Sanitizers Benzene Content Complaint

April 2, 2021

This class action brings suit against Virgin Scent, Inc., which does business as ArtNaturals, for its hand sanitizer products. The complaint alleges that the hand sanitizers contain benzene, which is a known carcinogen, “at levels many multiples of the emergency, interim limit set by” the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

ArtNaturals Hand Sanitizers Benzene Content Complaint

Case Event History

ArtNaturals Hand Sanitizers Benzene Content Complaint

April 2, 2021

This class action brings suit against Virgin Scent, Inc., which does business as ArtNaturals, for its hand sanitizer products. The complaint alleges that the hand sanitizers contain benzene, which is a known carcinogen, “at levels many multiples of the emergency, interim limit set by” the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

ArtNaturals Hand Sanitizers Benzene Content Complaint
Tags: Contaminated with Harmful Substances, Deceptive Advertising, Deceptive Labels