Thinx settles lawsuit for chemicals used in their period underwear

Jan 20, 2023, 3:38 PM
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 04: NY-Based period-proof underwear company Thinx debuts conceptual window f...
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 04: NY-Based period-proof underwear company Thinx debuts conceptual window featuring periods at Selfridges on July 4, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Nicky J Sims/Getty Images for Selfridges)
(Photo by Nicky J Sims/Getty Images for Selfridges)

Thinx underwear is offering refunds to some buyers after settling a class-action lawsuit.

Thinx offers period underwear for women that are designed to be a more economical and sustainable solution to menstrual hygiene. The company was sued for the potentially harmful chemicals used in its underwear.

According to a report by NPR, the underwear, tested by a third party, revealed the presence of ” short chain per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS).” PFAS are a group of man-made chemicals that are used in many household and industrial products but have been linked to adverse health effects.

“Through its uniform, widespread, nationwide advertising campaign, Defendant 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,” the complaint filed in May 2022 states, “In reality, Thinx Underwear contains harmful chemicals, including multiple polyfluoroalkyl substances (“PFAS”) and silver nanoparticles, which are a safety hazard to the female body and the environment.”

The Centers for Disease Control website states the human health effects from exposure to low levels of PFAS are uncertain, however studies of animals exposed to large amounts of PFAS indicate “some PFAS may affect growth and development.” Theses studies show PFAS may affect the immune system, the liver, reproduction, and thyroid function.

The CDC concludes, “More research is necessary to assess the human health effects of exposure to PFAS.”

Thinx denies those allegations, with a company spokesperson telling NPR in an email 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.

The lawsuit was settled in December 2022.

As part of the settlement, Thinx will pay up to $5 million in reimbursement to anyone who purchased Thinx underwear between Nov. 12, 2016 and Nov. 28, 2022.

A claim can be submitted online and must be submitted before mid-April for either cash reimbursement or a voucher for 35% off a single purchase up to $150.

The company also committed to making changes in its marketing and production.

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Thinx settles lawsuit for chemicals used in their period underwear