A consumer and Sanofi-Aventis told an Illinois federal judge that they’ve agreed to end litigation over allegations that the company’s maximum-strength Selsun Blue anti-dandruff shampoos contain chemical compounds that can further exacerbate scalp issues and cause hair loss.
Plaintiff and Illinois consumer Emily Lewis’ suit will be dismissed with prejudice. Because no class was ever certified, any putative class claims are dismissed without prejudice.
Lewis’ lawsuit, filed in February, alleged that Sanofi Aventis US LLC unlawfully markets its maximum-strength Selsun Blue shampoos with claims that they provide several benefits for consumers, including anti-dandruff and itchy scalp treatments, without disclosing that one of the product’s key ingredients contains chemicals that can cause further scalp irritation and hair loss.
Sanofi’s failure to tell consumers about the shampoos’ toxic chemicals violates Illinois consumer protection laws and constitutes unjust enrichment as well as a breach of various warranties.
At least 50 million Americans have dandruff and spend more than $300 million on products to treat the condition, according to Lewis’ suit. Capitalizing on that market, Sanofi sells its maximum-strength Selsun Blue shampoos with labels that prominently tout their ability to help prevent and eliminate itchy scalp and flakes.
However, the company fails to disclose that one of the product’s key ingredients is selenium sulfide, which is “well known to cause increased scalp irritation and, critically, hair loss.” Sanofi is also silent on the fact that the shampoos contain the preservative DMDM hydantoin, a chemical that can cause skin irritation and slowly releases the toxic chemical formaldehyde.
Sanofi’s use of the chemicals has caused thousands of consumers to experience irritated skin and hair loss.
Details of the settlement were not immediately available.