A class-action lawsuit filed in California claims that Brita falsely advertises the substances its filters supposedly eliminate from tap water.
In a complaint first obtained by Reuters, Nicholas Brown filed a complaint Aug. 16 in the Los Angeles County Superior Court alleging that he bought a $15 Brita Everyday Water Pitcher in early 2022 because the advertising on the label read “Reduces 30 contaminants, including lead, benzene, mercury, cadmium, asbestos, and more.”
However, Brown says that label is false and that “the product does not remove or reduce common contaminants hazardous to health, including the Common Hazardous Contaminants, to below lab detectable limits,” and that the filters “fail to remove or reduce to below lab detection limits some of the highest risk, notorious, or prevalent contaminants from drinking water.”
Some of the contaminants that the filters do not remove, according to the complaint, are arsenic, chromium 6, nitrate and nitrites, perfluorooctanoic acid, perfluorooctane sulfonate, radium, total trihalomethanes, and uranium. Some of these are better known as PFAS, or “forever chemicals,” because they don’t break down in the environment or in our bodies and are found in many everyday products we use. In July, a government study found nearly half of tap water in the U.S. is likely contaminated with “forever chemicals.”
Brown is seeking a jury trial to get back the money he believes he and other Brita customers paid for these products. He’s also asking the court to force Brita to alter its business practices, either by changing its packaging or improving its filters to match their advertised claims.
Scripps News has reached out to the Clorox Company, Brita’s parent company, for comment but has not heard back.