A class action lawsuit has been filed against Unilever by consumers who claim that they were injured when they used Pond’s anti-aging cream Rejuveness, as it is purported to contain high levels of mercury.
Plaintiff Janneth Pederson says she has used the Rejuveness product for seven years for its cosmetic purposes as recommended on the label.
She states that she had no reason to believe that the product was toxic or life-threatening.
Pederson owns a small business as a fitness instructor. Soon after using the anti-aging product, she allegedly began to see a general deterioration of her historically good health.
Her symptoms reportedly included headaches, memory loss, decreased energy, fatigue, and more. She allegedly sought medical treatment which included “extensive neurological testing” but provided no answers.
The Pond’s class action claims that after “many months and years of prolonged suffering,” she sent her container of Pond’s Rejuveness in for laboratory testing.
The lab allegedly found out that the product contained mercury and she was sent to the hospital for mercury poisoning treatment.
The hospital reportedly found out that her blood contained a concentration of 140 parts per million. The plaintiff says that a normal range of mercury in the bloodstream is zero and that 11 parts per million is considered toxic.
She continues by stating that there were no warnings on the container which would have told her of the levels of mercury in the product.
The Pond’s class action lawsuit states that the most dangerous type of mercury subjection is via vapor inhalation.
“The most prominent symptoms associated with vapor-induced mercury neurotoxicity include hand tremors, emotional lability and erethism, insomnia, neuromuscular changes, headaches, slowed sensory and motor nerve conduction velocities, memory loss, and cognitive function performance deficits,” the Pond’s class action lawsuit states.
The plaintiff claims that, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), those who manufacture cosmetics outside of the United States and the European Union commonly utilize mercury in cosmetics. They reportedly do so because they believe that it can serve as a skin lightening agent.
That said, the Pond’s class action lawsuit claims that the use of mercury in cosmetics like facial creams is illegal in the European Union and the United States except for the amount of one part per million.
Also, mercury can only be used in cosmetics if it is impossible to create the product without any mercury, the plaintiff alleges.
“International awareness of the common use of mercury in cosmetics is growing and countries have begun to sign treaties banning such practices,” the Pond’s class action lawsuit states.
In addition, the plaintiff says that most countries, including Mexico, do not have laws that ban the use of mercury in cosmetics and that the manufacturers are “exploiting” those populations.
The Pond’s class action lawsuit states that places in the United States that border Mexico have shown to have a disproportionately higher mercury poisoning rate than other parts of the United States.
The plaintiff maintains that Unilever knows of mercury’s uncertain use as a skin-bleaching agent and could “actively use this knowledge to intentionally exploit lax regulations in countries outside the United States through the use of mercury in products manufactured outside the United States.”
Have you used Pond’s Rejuveness anti-aging cream? Leave a message in the comments section below.
The plaintiff is represented by Arnold Shokouhi, Justin N. Bryan, Kristin M. Hecker, and Evan Selik of McCathern PLLC
The Pond’s Rejuveness Class Action Lawsuit is Janneth Pederson v. Unilever NV, et al., Case No. 5:20-cv-00020, in the U.S District Court for the Western District of Texas.
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