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Green Works “Natural” Cleaning Products Deceptive Advertising Class Action

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Clorox Green Works Products

With more and more chemicals and other substances entering homes and environments, concerned consumers worry about the added toxic burden that household cleaning products may place on themselves and their families. Many people are willing to pay more for products that seem to be safe because they are advertised as being “natural” or “naturally derived.” However, the complaint for this class action alleges that Clorox’s Green Works line of products should not be marketed with these words without some qualification, as they contain materials that are not natural and that may be allergens or otherwise harmful.

The class for this action is all consumers who, within the US, bought products listed here that were labeled “natural,” “naturally derived,” and/or “green, between August 21, 2013 and the date of class certification.

Two subclasses have also been proposed:

  • The California Subclass includes all consumers who, in California, bought products listed here that were labeled “natural,” “naturally derived,” and/or “green, between August 21, 2013 and the date of class certification.
  • The New York Subclass includes all consumers who, in New York state, bought products listed here that were labeled “natural,” “naturally derived,” and/or “green, between August 21, 2011 and the date of class certification.

Consumers have become more and more concerned about the ingredients in household cleaners, because they can be inhaled, come in contact with or be absorbed by skin, or come in contact with food. They are also drained off in waterways and groundwater and disposed of in dumps. Many consumers are willing to pay more for products that are not harmful for humans and the environment, but they expect those products to be safe.

According to the complaint, Clorox makes a line of household cleaning products under the brand name Green Works. (See the list below for products included in this class action.) Earlier labels for the products, the complaint says, qualified the company’s “natural” claims by specifying a percentage, such as “99% naturally derived,” but more recent labels have dropped this percentage and simply claim that the products are “naturally derived” with no qualifications. The complaint claims that consumers are therefore likely to think the products are 100% natural.

According to the complaint, this is not true at all and the products contain substances such as boric acid, caprylyl or capryl glucoside, citric acid, d-limonene, dimethicone/silica antifoam, methylisothiazolinone, sodium borate, sodium lauryl sulfate, and unspecified fragrances and artificial dyes. Some of these substances, the complaint claims, are associated with skin irritation, aquatic toxicity, immune system toxicity, and allergic reactions, and are therefore not what consumers believe they will find in products labeled “natural” or “naturally derived.”

The complaint therefore alleges that in its advertising and labeling, the company has violated California and New York state laws.

The products involved in this class action are as follows:

  • Green Works multi-surface cleaner,
  • Green Works multi-surface cleaner lemon scent,
  • Green Works all-purpose cleaner,
  • Green Works all-purpose cleaner lemon scent,
  • Green Works cleaning wipes,
  • Green Works compostable cleaning wipes,
  • Green Works compostable cleaning wipes water lily scent,
  • Green Works glass & surface cleaner,
  • Green Works glass cleaner,
  • Green Works bathroom cleaner,
  • Green Works toilet bowl cleaner,
  • Green Works dishwashing liquid,
  • Green Works dishwashing liquid water-lily scent,
  • Green Works dishwashing liquid tangerine scent,
  • Green Works dishwashing liquid free & clear scent,
  • Green Works Manual Pot & Pan Detergent
  • Green Works laundry detergent,
  • Green Works laundry detergent free & clear scent,
  • Green Works chlorine-free bleach,
  • Green Works laundry stain remover, and
  • Other Green Works products marketed as “naturally derived,” “green,” or in other similar manners but containing unnatural and/or harmful ingredients. 
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