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Judd Law Group Scores Major Public Interest Victory against Cosmetics Manufacturers

Between Public Interest Alliance and Cosmetics Manufacturers.  

Lawsuit demands industry giants remove carcinogens from products;
Raise awareness of need for more study of link between cosmetic powders and cancer.                            

San Francisco, June 4, 2014 – Judd Law Group LLP (, attorneys for Public Interest Alliance (PIA), announced that the California Superior Court has approved settlements between PIA and five personal care products manufacturers, which have agreed either to remove titanium dioxide (TiO2) from their products, provide Proposition 65 (The Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986) compliant warnings, or remove products that contain TiO2 from the California market.

The May 20, 2014 decision (Alameda Superior Court Case #RG13697992) follows a lawsuit filed by PIA in the fall of 2013 against 100 manufacturers of powder makeup and sun-protection products. PIA, a California company whose mission is to improve human health, alleges these cosmetics manufacturers violated California’s Prop 65 by failing to provide clear and reasonable warning of exposure to TiO2 (airborne, unbound particles of respirable size).

“The Public Interest Alliance is not saying that powder cosmetic products are necessarily unsafe, but it does want to raise awareness that the scientific-based link between the inhalation of titanium dioxide powder and tumor growth requires more study,” said Jeffrey Judd, Managing Partner of Judd Law Group LLP. “Companies have an obligation to develop and make available sufficient information to consumers, so we can make informed decisions about what chemicals we put in and on our bodies. This suit is intended to increase corporate responsibility; we hope it pressures the large cosmetics manufacturers to do sufficient research to be able to say with scientific reliability whether or not their powder makeup products may cause cancer.”

PIA’s lawsuit alleges L’Oreal, Maybelline, Revlon, and dozens of other leading cosmetics brands failed to provide a clear and reasonable warning in connection with the sale of powder makeup and sun-protection products, which expose consumers to airborne TiO2. In 2011, California listed airborne TiO2 as a chemical known to cause cancer after the International Agency for Cancer Research (IACR) concluded that a link between TiO2 exposure and cancer is possible. PIA’s suit is based on publicly available scientific *studies that demonstrate how applying cosmetic powders that contain titanium dioxide to one’s face with a brush, puff, pad, or sponge exposes consumers to airborne TiO2. The question “how much” TiO2 is inhaled over a lifetime remains unanswered. Rather than evaluating their powder cosmetic products with reliable scientific methods to answer that question, the largest cosmetics companies have instead pooled resources to fight in court.

“Judd Law Group has been instrumental in PIA’s fight to promote responsible manufacturing, but the number of companies that have taken responsibility for their powder cosmetic products represents only the tip of the iceberg,” said Hillary Peterson, a member of PIA’s advisory board. “Prior to suing these companies, PIA proposed that they perform transparent product assessment that could be evaluated by state regulators. While little is known about the health effects of inhaling titanium dioxide, many troubling concerns have been raised about its potential for causing long-term health problems, and yet titanium dioxide is used in ever-increasing amounts in sun protection and cosmetic products. The cosmetics industry spends millions of dollars on advertising that encourages us to use these products, but is unwilling to spend even a small fraction of its advertising budget on science-based studies to inform consumer decisions. This is why PIA must, and will continue to champion the cause of requiring cosmetics manufacturers to provide meaningful product information to improve product safety and public health.”

*Potential for Inhalation Exposure to Engineered Nanoparticles from Nanotechnology-Based Cosmetic Powders, 120(6) Environ. Health Perspect. 885-892 (June 2012)

About Judd Law Group LLP
Judd Law Group LLP is a San Francisco-based litigation & intellectual property law firm that provides strategic litigation and transaction counsel to businesses and individuals. Judd Law Group LLP combines the quality, experience, and judgment of a big firm with the responsiveness, personal attention and cost structure of a boutique. The firm regularly achieve favorable results in disputes against larger and better-capitalized adversaries and successfully guide clients through the most sophisticated transactions.

Managing partner, Jeffrey Judd, is a veteran of “big law” for over 20 years, who as a litigation partner at a top AmLaw 100 firm successfully represented an impressive roster of Fortune 500 companies that included Ford Motor Company, Alaska Airlines, Merck, and Franklin Templeton Investments.

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