Are Thinx safe to use after its class action lawsuit? Experts weigh in

People are asking 'Are Thinx safe?' now that a lawsuit alleged the company used PFAS in its products

A Thinx Underwear display outside of a store on a grey and white background
(Image credit: Eugene Gologursky/Getty Images for THINX, Inc.)

Are Thinx safe? Experts suggest that shoppers look for new period underwear and menstrual cup options in light of recent news. 

The wellness brand just settled a class-action lawsuit that alleged the usage of "forever chemicals" like per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in its products. 

However, Thinx has denied the claims in a statement: "With respect to PFAS, Thinx confirms that PFAS have never been a part of its product design, and that it will continue to take measures to help ensure that PFAS are not intentionally added to Thinx Period Underwear at any stage of production. The proposed settlement is not an admission of guilt or wrongdoing of any kind by Thinx."

According to Mashable, the feminine hygiene brand has been hit with at least three lawsuits regarding misrepresentation of its products.  

Are Thinx safe?

Exposure to PFAs in clothing is not safe, and though Thinx stated that its settlement "is not an admission of guilt or wrongdoing of any kind," the experts believe now is the time to seek alternatives. 

"Ultimately, consumers should definitely be avoiding Thinx until they are confident that they have eradicated PFAS from their supply chain, but they should apply that same scrutiny to the ingredients of other period care products they are using," Lucy Lettice, Co-Founder of &SISTERS tells My Imperfect Life.

Meet the expert: Lucy Lettice

&SISTERS, co-founded by mother-daughter duo Lucy and Claire Lettice, is "on a mission to reimagine the future of female health, starting with safe, sustainable and beautifully designed period products."

Likewise, Charlotte Johnson, a sex expert at Mega Pleasure, insists that women and people who menstruate always do their homework before grabbing period products.

"It is always best to thoroughly check all of the labels and packaging of your underwear to ensure no harmful substances are included, as these unwanted chemicals can cause chronic health issues which can lead to further medical attention," Johnson says. 

At the time of publication, the Thinx online store remains open, and the brand has not returedn My Imperfect Life's request for comment.

Meet the expert: Charlotte Johnson

Charlotte Johnson is a sexual wellness expert and marketing manager with the UK brand, MegaPleasure. 

Thinx lawsuit: what you need to know

What are PFAS?

According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, "PFAS are widely used, long-lasting chemicals, components of which break down very slowly over time." They are found in the environment (air, water, soil, etc) and can have adverse health effects on humans and animals.

The EPA further claims that scientists are still working to learn how to manage and dispose of PFAS, how much people are exposed to them and how to remove them from drinking water, among other subjects. 

Per the USA's Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, PFAS have the possibility to increase cholesterol levels, change liver enzymes, decrease infant birth weights and increase chances for liver and testicular cancer.

What happens next?

Shoppers who have purchased Thinx products between November 12, 2016 and November 28, 2022 have until April 12, 2023 to file a claim for partial reimbursement. Consumers are able to claim up to three pairs of underwear per person, and they'll either receive a cash reimbursement of up to $7 per pair, or a voucher for 35% off a future purchase of up to $150.

What will happen to Thinx?

According to NPR, Thinx will have to rework some of its marketing language and ensure that PFAS are not included at any point throughout the production process, and its suppliers will need to sign a code of conduct and agreement attesting that PFAS are not present.

If you're in search of ways to make that time of the month a bit easier, have a look at our expert-backed tips for how to deal with period pains and symptoms and learn how to prioritize your gynecological health.

Danielle Valente
Digital News Writer

Need a TV show recommendation? Maybe a few decor tips? Danielle, a digital news writer at Future, has you covered. Her work appears throughout the company’s lifestyle brands, including My Imperfect Life, Real Homes, and woman&home. Mainly, her time is spent at My Imperfect Life, where she’s attuned to the latest entertainment trends and dating advice for Gen Z.

Before her time at Future, Danielle was the editor of Time Out New York Kids, where she got to experience the best of the city from the point of view of its littlest residents. Before that, she was a news editor at Elite Daily. Her work has also appeared in Domino, Chowhound, and amNewYork, to name a few. 

When Danielle’s not writing, you can find her testing out a new recipe, reading a book (suggestions always welcome), or rearranging the furniture in her apartment…again.