If you’ve bought products from period underwear company Thinx in the last few years, listen up.
In June 2022, Thinx settled a class-action lawsuit over allegations about man-made “forever chemicals” in the underwear, even though they deny these claims. The deal received preliminary approval in November. From now until April 12, customers who purchased Thinx Cotton Brief, Cotton Bikini, Cotton Thong, Sport, Hiphugger, Hi-Waist, Boyshort, French Cut, Cheeky, and Thong undies between November 12, 2016 and November 28, 2022 can submit a claim for either cash reimbursement for three pairs or a single-use voucher for a future purchase.
The chemicals are called per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), PFAS are long-lasting chemicals that are found in man-made products as well as water, soil, air, and fish in locations around the world. Exposure to PFAS may be harmful to people; peer reviewed studies have shown that PFAS exposure may lead to, among other effects, increased cancer risk and decreased fertility. Such exposure is a public health risk, said the CDC.
Since November 2020, Thinx has been hit with at least three lawsuits about misrepresenting their underwear as safe and free from harmful chemicals, according to Class Action. Third-party testing identified presence of PFAS as well as Agion, an anti-microbial agent made of silver and copper nano-chemicals in order to diffuse odor. Plaintiffs claim that Thinx’s use of Agion contradicts their claims of their underwear being free of harmful chemicals.
In addition to denying the allegations, Thinx denies it did anything improper or unlawful. As stated on the settlement website, “With respect to PFAS, Thinx confirms that PFAS have never been a part of its product design, and that it will continue to take measures to help ensure that PFAS are not intentionally added to Thinx Period Underwear at any stage of production. The proposed settlement is not an admission of guilt or wrongdoing of any kind by Thinx.”
To learn more about filing a claim and what you’d receive from the settlement, read the settlement website.