Target Class Action Lawsuit: Did Up & Up Bandages Expose You to PFAS? (Forever Chemicals)

target bandages PFAs

The lawsuit alleges Target bandages may be dangerous as chemicals could be applied directly into open wounds.

Target faces a class action lawsuit alleging its Up & Up Flexible Fabric Bandages contain PFAS, known as "forever chemicals" linked to health concerns. The lawsuit claims these chemicals could be absorbed through open wounds.

Plaintiff Brenda Gudgel filed the lawsuit against Target Corporation and Target Brands Inc. on May 8, alleging violations of state and federal consumer laws. She says, according to independent testing, Target Brand Up & Up Flexible Fabric Bandages contain per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances – known as PFAS.

“The Plaintiff was not aware that the product contained PFAS chemicals, a synthetic chemical that can be harmful to her health,” the lawsuit states. If she had known, she wouldn’t have bought it, she said.

What are PFAs?

According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), PFAS are widely used, long lasting chemicals. Their components break down very slowly over time, which is why people more commonly refer to them as “forever chemicals.” 

They have typically been used to make nonstick cookware, water-repellent clothing, stain resistant fabrics and carpets, some cosmetics, some firefighting foams, and products that resist grease, water, and oil.

Because of their widespread use and their persistence in the environment, many PFAS are found in the blood of people and animals. Scientific studies have shown that exposure to some PFAS in the environment may be linked to harmful health effects in humans and animals, the EPA says

Gudgel says the chemicals are linked to health issues such as cancer, liver damage, decreased fertility, asthma and weakened immune systems.

What did testing of the Target bandages find?

Gudgel says the bandages were investigated by Mamavation, a consumer “watchdog” community group, which provides “ecowellness product investigations for moms.”  

She says Mamavation commissioned scientific studies on indications of PFAS in bandages. It sent 40 bandages from 18 brands for testing at an EPA-certified laboratory, including Up & Up Flexible Fabric Bandages, and reportedly found the presence of PFAs in the Target product.

Gudgel said, in response to the results of the studies, Linda Birnbaum, former Director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences stated: “Because bandages are placed upon open wounds, it’s troubling to learn that they may also be exposing children and adults to PFAS.”

Target does not declare on the packaging of the bandages that the product might contain PFAs, therefore has misled consumers, Gudgel claims. “Plaintiff reasonably believed that the product she was buying was safe to use and had been properly tested,” the lawsuit states.

She’s looking to represent a nationwide class of consumers who bought the bandages, and is seeking certification of the class action, damages, fees, costs and a jury trial. 

Target not alone in facing PFAs scrutiny

The Target lawsuit is just one example of the growing public concern about PFAS contamination. Numerous lawsuits are being filed against various companies alleging PFAS contamination in products and water supplies. These lawsuits highlight the widespread presence of PFAS and the potential health risks associated with exposure.

  • California Water Utilities Sue Over PFAS: California water utilities are taking legal action against private companies they allege are responsible for contaminating the state's drinking water with PFAS.

  • Lawsuit Filed Against Johnson & Johnson Over PFAS in Band-Aids: Similar to the Target case, another lawsuit accuses Johnson & Johnson of selling bandages containing PFAS.

  • Pennsylvania Woman Sues Over PFAS in Drinking Water: Highlighting the human health concerns, a Pennsylvania woman filed a lawsuit against manufacturers of PFAS chemicals, alleging her lifelong exposure to contaminated water caused kidney cancer.

  • PFAS Found in Popular Kombucha Drinks: Even health-focused products aren't immune. A lawsuit against Health-Ade alleges their kombucha drinks contain PFAS despite marketing themselves as beneficial for health.

These lawsuits come amid growing public concern about PFAS and stricter regulations from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The EPA recently implemented stricter regulations for PFAS in drinking water, aiming to protect millions of Americans from potential health risks.

Large settlements reached in PFAs contamination cases

PFAS contamination has resulted in significant settlements. Last year, 3M agreed to pay $10.3 billion to address PFAS contamination in drinking water. This case, along with others like the $1.19 billion settlement with Chemours, DuPont, and Corteva, demonstrates the potential financial consequences of PFAS lawsuits.

Gudgel is represented by William Wright of The Wright Law Office.

The Target bandages PFAs class action lawsuit is Gudgel v. Target Corporation et al, Case No. 6:24-cv-00870 in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida. 



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