Class action accuses Dial of being dirty

Posted on: December 6th, 2010 by Steve Larson

A lawsuit filed as a consumer class action is accusing Dial Corp. of tricking consumers into paying a premium for a foaming soap with false promises that it is more effective at cleaning hands and killing germs than regular soap and water.  The suit, filed in federal court in East St. Louis, contends that there is no factual basis for marketing claims the soap company makes about its Dial Complete Foaming Antibacterial Hand Wash, including claims that the product “kills 99.99% of germs;” that it is the “#1 Doctor Recommended” brand; and that it “kills more germs than any other liquid hand soap.”

The suit filed Thursday accuses Dial of violating an Illinois consumer fraud law by misstating the soap’s health benefits and ignoring research indicating that the product’s active ingredient — triclosan — may be harmful.  In April, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration posted on its website that there is no evidence that using antibacterial soaps containing triclosan provide any benefit over washing with regular soap and water.

The same day that information went online, the Washington Post reported that the FDA privately warned a congressman that recent studies raise questions about whether the use of triclosan creates antibiotics-resistant bacteria and disrupts the body’s endocrine system.