Discover Magazine has an interesting blog post about some consumers who were complaining that Victoria’s Secret bras were giving them painful rashes. When their lawyers bought similar bras and had them tested — they were found to contain formaldehyde.
In a new class action lawsuit, dozens of women are claiming that Victoria’s Secret bras have given them painful, unsightly rashes. One of the plaintiffs, Roberta Ritter of Ohio, says the company’s “Angels Secret Embrace” and “Very Sexy Extreme Me Push-Up” bras gave her persistent itchy rashes that caused severe discomfort. When Ritter’s lawyers purchased the same bra types and sent them to a lab, she claims, they tested positive for formaldehyde.
Formaldehyde is considered a probable human carcinogen by the EPA and is also a known allergen.
Though people often associate the chemical with embalmed specimens in jars, it is actually found in many everyday products.
“Formaldehyde is the big thing these days,” says dermatologist Susan Tillman Elliott, consulting physician to the Center for Laser Surgery in Washington D.C. “It’s been known for a zillion years that it’s the major component of most fabric finishers. It’s a major contact allergen.”
Despite the lawsuit and allegations of itchiness — Victoria’s Secret denies that they use the chemical on their bras and are keeping them in stores, says Discover. Using formaldehyde on fabrics is perfectly legal in the U.S.