Ad Alert

‘Forever Chemicals’ in Band-Aids

Lawsuit alleges environmental claims don't stick.

Ad Alert

‘Forever Chemicals’ in Band-Aids

The Band-Aid brand has been around for more than 100 years. But according to a recent class-action lawsuit, remnants of the adhesive bandages will be around for the indefinite future, long after the cuts they’ve covered have healed.

That’s because, as alleged in the complaint, despite being marketed as environmentally friendly, Band-Aids contain per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS – so-called “forever chemicals” that don’t break down naturally.

As we observe Earth Day today, the lawsuit accuses Johnson & Johnson and its “spin-off entity” Kenvue of misleading consumers on the environmental impact of Band-Aids to increase sales and profits.

The lawsuit alleges PFAS in the bandages can also be absorbed through the skin, posing serious risks to human health – including increased risk of cancer, reduced ability to fight infections and developmental effects or delays in children – despite marketing that claims the products are safe.

Modern science has demonstrated that there is no “safe” level of exposure to PFAS chemicals. Even “trace” levels of PFAS can be harmful to human health and our environment.

The complaint cites a study commissioned by the consumer blog Mamavation, which found signs of PFAS in 26 out of 40 bandages tested, including four Band-Aid products. Mamavation suggested that some bandage brands are using PFAS for their waterproof qualities, a claim repeated in the lawsuit.

The lawsuit seeks an end to the deceptive practices alleged in the complaint, as well as monetary relief in the form of compensatory and punitive damages, among other things.

In response to an inquiry by, a spokesperson for Johnson & Johnson directed us to Kenvue, saying, “Band-Aid is not a Johnson & Johnson product. It is a product sold by Kenvue.” Kenvue has yet to respond to our request for comment.

Find more of our coverage on PFAS lawsuits here.

Our Ad Alerts are not just about false and deceptive marketing issues, but may also be about ads that, although not necessarily deceptive, should be viewed with caution. Ad Alerts can also be about single issues and may not include a comprehensive list of all marketing issues relating to the brand discussed.

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