Proposed class-action against sunscreen makers alleges they deceived public

A Toronto law firm is moving forward with a proposed class-action lawsuit against the makers of two major brands of sunscreen in Canada, alleging they deceived customers about the strength of their products.

TORONTO — A Toronto law firm is moving forward with a proposed class-action lawsuit against the makers of two major brands of sunscreen in Canada, alleging they deceived customers about the strength of their products.

Juroviesky and Ricci LLP said in two statements of claim that Schering-Plough Canada and Playtex Products Inc., which manufacture the Coppertone and Banana Boat sunscreen brands, made “misleading representations to the public” by implying the sun protection factor, or SPF, listed on their products protects equally against all types of the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays.

In the amended statements of claim filed in February 2009 with the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, the firm said the companies failed to distinguish between UVA rays, which damage the DNA in skin cells, and UVB rays, which cause sunburns and are the main target of SPF ratings.

“That, we say, is misleading, deceptive and something for which the public needs to seek redress,” lawyer Henry Juroviesky said in an interview Friday.

While both UVA and UVB rays are carcinogenic, UVA rays cause “more aggressive” forms of skin cancer, the firm said in their statements.

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