The Center for Environmental Health (CEH) in America has published its research findings, which found that 98 tested shampoos, soaps and other personal care products contained high levels of cocamide diethanolamine (cocamide DEA), a hidden foaming and thickening agent that is a known carcinogen. Some of the amounts of this potentially dangerous chemical were quite high and it is also thought to be cumulative.
Several large corporate brands, like Colgate Palmolive and Paul Mitchell, were identified in the study as manufacturing products that contain cocamide DEA. Other brands that might come as more of a surprise include a lemon-scented kitchen hand wash sold by Trader Joe´s and a ginger shampoo made by a company known as "Organix." Other implicated brands include American Crew, Palmolive, Equate (Walmart), At One With Nature, Simple Pleasures and Moroccanoil. The inclusion of DEA is against the law in states such as California.
A full list of all tested products can be found at the following link:
CEH then sent letters to the nearly 100 companies it identified as still selling products that contain cocamide DEA, notifying them that their continued use of the chemical is a violation of California´s Proposition 65, which pertains to cancer-causing chemicals.. CEH has also reportedly filed lawsuits against Walgreens, Lake Consumer Products, Vogue International and Ultimark Products due to the presence of cocamide DEA in their products, with eventual plans to file lawsuits against the other 94 involved companies in the coming weeks and months.
"I don´t think anybody wants to add one more thing to the list of cancer-causing chemicals that we´re exposed to," says Caroline Cox, research director at CEH, as quoted by the San Francisco Gate. "There´s lots of ways to make shampoo without it. This is one we don´t really need."