BEAUTY CARE

Minnesota to ban all mercury-containing products

BY Antoinette Alexander

ST. PAUL, Minn. Minnesota is banning mercury in cosmetics, toiletries and fragrances under a state law that goes into effect Jan. 1.

Under the state law, those who knowingly sell, offer to sell or distribute a cosmetic product containing mercury could face fines of as much as $700. According to an Associated Press report citing the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, manufacturers who fail to disclose mercury on product labels could face penalties of up to $10,000.

John Bailey, chief scientist with the Personal Care Products Council (formerly known as the Cosmetic, Toiletry and Fragrance Association), told the AP that most makeup companies have phased out the use of mercury. However, some eye products still legally contain mercury, as it is used as a preservative and germ-killer.

Federal law allows eye products to contain up to 65 parts per million of mercury. According to the AP, Bailey said that the exposure a person would get from a product used in such small quantities would not pose a problem.

The state law is part of a larger ban that targets such sources of mercury as thermostats, barometers and medical devices. The law also covers OTC products.

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Philips sues P&G over Braun electric razor claims

BY Antoinette Alexander

NEW YORK Philips Electronics has filed a lawsuit against Procter & Gamble and its Braun division for allegedly falsely advertising its “Pulsonic” line of electronic shavers.

The suit seeks to order Braun to stop the alleged false advertisements and to award damages to Philips, which produces its own line of electronic shavers as well as the Norelco brand. Among other alleged false claims, the lawsuit identifies P&G’s claim that the Pulsonic uses sonic power to generate microvibrations to expose and shave more hair with every stroke.

The complaint also addresses Braun’s claim that “9 out of 10” men voted Pulsonic the “best electric shaver they have ever tried” in a 2007 Men’s Health survey. Philips argues that the survey was a scientifically uncontrolled sweepstakes in which Braun gave each participant a free Pulsonic, for which it usually charges the price of $250.

A P&G spokesperson was not immediately available for comment.

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P&G files lawsuit over Olay Regenerist patents

BY Antoinette Alexander

CINCINNATI Procter & Gamble has filed a lawsuit against Fruit of the Earth, alleging that it infringed on various patents and its Olay Regenerist trade dress.

The suit, filed in the United States Federal District Court for the Southern District of Ohio, claims that Fruit of the Earth infringed on three patents as well as infringed on trade dress of the Olay Regenerist packaging by an entire line of look-alike products sold at CVS.

A spokesperson for Fruit of the Earth was not immediately available for comment.

P&G is asking that the Irving, Texas-based company stop distributing the products and to notify its retailers to impound or return all products.

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