Windex Marketing of Products as “Non-Toxic” Class Action

S.C. Johnson & Son, Inc. makes Windex products that it packages in bottles with a notation “Non-Toxic Formula.” However, the class for this action alleges that the products do in fact contain toxic ingredients and are therefore deceptively advertised.

The class for this action is all purchasers of the Windex products in the US who bought the products between June 8, 2017 and the trial of this case.

Windex products come in at least four types: original, ammonia-free, vinegar, and multisurface. Early on, the complaint displays images of all four of the product bottles, each showing the words “Non-Toxic Formula” prominently on the front.

The complaint alleges that “the products actually contain, in varying combinations, ingredients that are harmful to humans, animals, and/or the environment.” Listed below are the allegedly harmful ingredients in each product.

  • Windex Original: butylphenyl methylpropional, citronellol, linalool, 2-hexoxyethanol, and isopropanolamine
  • Windex Vinegar: 2-hexoxyethanol and linalool
  • Windex Ammonia-Free: linalool, 2-hexoxyethanol, isopropanolamine, and butylphenyl methylpropional
  • Windex Multisurface: linalool and 2-hexoxyethanol

The complaint details the alleged problems with these substances:

  • 2-hexoxyethanol: harmful if swallowed, can cause central nervous system depression and kidney failure; can be absorbed through the skin; is a respiratory tract irritant
  • Butylphenyl methylpropional: has been linked to bioaccumulation, organ system toxicity, endocrine disruption, allergies
  • Citronellol: immunotoxic
  • Isopropanolamine: combustible, corrosive; causes skin and eye irritations and loss of vision; if ingested can cause burning sensation, abdominal pains, shock, or collapse; if inhaled can cause shortness of breath and sore throat
  • Linalool: Fragance allergen; may cause contact dermatitis

According to the complaint, on March 24, 2020, the National Advertising Division recommended that the company “discontinue the claim ‘non-toxic’on the package labeling of its Windex Vinegar Glass Cleaner.” The complaint also reviews other federal standards for the term “non-toxic” which it alleges or implies that the Windex products do not meet.

According to the complaint, “A reasonable consumer’s understanding of ‘will not harm’ is not limited to toxins that cause death but ‘also various types of physical illness, such as vomiting, rash and gastrointestinal upset.’” For that reason, the complaint alleges, “[c]ontrary to the Product’s claims of being ‘non-toxic,’ the Product contains ingredients that are harmful to humans, household pets or the environment generally.

The complaint alleges that the “marketing of the Product as ‘non-toxic’ has a material bearing on price or consumer acceptance of the Products…” It claims that the “non-toxic” designation “is designed to—and does—deceive, mislead, and defraud consumers.”

Article Type: Lawsuit
Topic: Consumer

Most Recent Case Event

Windex Marketing of Products as “Non-Toxic” Complaint

June 8, 2020

S.C. Johnson & Son, Inc. makes Windex products that it packages in bottles with a notation “Non-Toxic Formula.” However, the class for this action alleges that the products do in fact contain toxic ingredients and are therefore deceptively advertised.

Windex Marketing of Products as “Non-Toxic” Complaint

Case Event History

Windex Marketing of Products as “Non-Toxic” Complaint

June 8, 2020

S.C. Johnson & Son, Inc. makes Windex products that it packages in bottles with a notation “Non-Toxic Formula.” However, the class for this action alleges that the products do in fact contain toxic ingredients and are therefore deceptively advertised.

Windex Marketing of Products as “Non-Toxic” Complaint
Tags: Deceptive Advertising, Deceptive Labels, Hazardous or Toxic Materials, Made or Constructed with Harmful Chemicals