Next time you buy shampoo or personal hygiene products, you may want to research the health risks of the chemicals they contain.
A watchdog organization located in Oakland, Calif. called the Center for Environmental Health (CEH) commissioned an independent lab to test various different shampoo and soap products to see how much of the compound, cocamide dethanolamine (cocamide DEA) they contain. Cocamide DEA is a modified form of coconut oil used as a thickener or foaming agent in many products. Last year, California listed cocamide DEA as a carcinogen based on testing conducted by the International Agency for Research on Cancer.
The lab found that 98 different products available from common U.S. retailers contain cocamide DEA, and that manufacturers did not label the product with a warning, which violates state law. Some of the 98 products found to contain high levels of cocamide DEA include Shea Butter Shampoo by M&M Products Company, Bliss Body Wash, Rejuvi Shower Cream, and Herbal Essence shampoo. The full list can be found here.
As a result of this research, the CEH filed a lawsuit against Walgreen, Lake Consumer Products, Ultimark Products, and Todd Christopher International with demanding that they remove cocamide DEA from their products. On its website, the CEH describes itself as an organization that "works to hold corporations accountable for their use of toxic chemicals that endanger public health."
“There are many similar shampoos and soaps on the market made without the chemical, so it is obviously possible to make the products safer,” said Charles Margulis, Communications Director and Food Program Director of CEH.