Study Finds Cancer-Causing Chemical in Nearly 100 Shampoos and Soaps









The Center for Environmental Health (CEH) revealed independent testing on Tuesday finding a cancer-causing chemical in 98 shampoos, soaps and other personal care products sold by major national retailers. The chemical, cocamide diethanolamine (cocamide DEA), a chemically-modified form of coconut oil used as a thickener or foaming agent in many products, was listed by California as a known carcinogen last year.

Products tested with high levels of cocamide DEA include shampoos made by Colgate Palmolive, Colomer, Paul Mitchell and many others. In addition, products marketed for children and a product falsely labeled as organic were found with the chemical, in violation of California law.

CEH filed a California lawsuit Tuesday against four companies that sell products containing cocamide DEA, and the nonprofit has sent legal notices to more than 100 other companies that produce and/or sell cocamide DEA-tainted products that their products violate state law.

“Most people believe that products sold in major stores are tested for safety, but consumers need to know that they could be doused with a cancer-causing chemical every time they shower or shampoo,” said Michael Green, executive director of CEH. “We expect companies to take swift action to end this unnecessary risk to our children’s and families’ health.”

In addition to many brand name shampoos and personal care products (see the full list, below), the CEH testing found cocamide DEA in store-brand products purchased at Walmart, Trader Joe’s, Pharmaca and Kohl’s. A store brand children’s bubble bath from Kmart and a children’s shampoo/conditioner from Babies R Us were also found with cocamide DEA. Falsely labeled organic products from Organic by Africa’s Best also tested for high levels of the cancer-causing chemical (CEH previously won a legal settlement with this company requiring it to end its use of phony organic labels).

CEH has purchased the shampoos and other products containing cocamide DEA at Bay Area, CA, locations of major retailers and from online retailers since June, and commissioned an independent lab to determine the total content of the chemical in the products. In many cases, products contain more than 10,000 ppm cocamide DEA, and one shampoo tested at more than 200,000 ppm (20 percent) cocamide DEA. California listed cocamide DEA in June 2012 as a chemical known to cause cancer based on the assessment by the International Agency for Research on Cancer, which evaluated skin exposure tests on animals.

Classic clean shampoo (for all hair types)PrellUltimark ProductsWalgreens
Medicated Conditioning ShampooMG217Lake Consumer ProductsRite Aid
Daily ShampooAmerican Crew ClassicAmerican CrewKmart
Olive Oil ShampooOrganics by Africa’s BestHouse of CheathamGlamour Beauty Supply
Caprice (Acti-Ceramidas Shampoo)PalmoliveColgate-Palmolive Co.FoodMaxx
Mane ‘n Tail ShampooStraight ArrowStraight Arrow ProductsFoodMaxx
Climate Control Defrizzing ShampooOuidadOuidad ProductsSephora
TUI (moisturizing sulfate-free shampoo)Carols DaughterCarols Daughter ProductsSephora
Brilliance ShampooRuskRuskKmart
Kid’s Bubble Bath (Bubble Gum Scent)Little Ones/KmartKmartKmart
Clasic Herbal Essence Shampoo (all hair types)VanartMade by Estilo Y Vanidad, Distributed by Midway ImportingKmart
Therapeutic Anti-Dandruff ShampooTopCareTopco Associates, LLCLucky
Cleanse Hydrating ShampooBIOSILKFarouk SystemsLucky
Maximum Strength Medicated Dandruff ShampooEquateWalmartWalmart
Awapuhi Ginger ShampooOrganixVogue InternationalWalgreens
“Ricitos de Oro” Chamomile Baby ShampooGrisi unknownWalgreens
Cabellino Shampoo Chile Con RomeroGrandallGrandall Dist. CoKmart
Dandruff Shampoo Selenium SulfideImage EssentialsKmartKmart
Nutress Hair Protein Pack Treatment ShampoonutresshairGabel’s Cosmetics, Inc.Glamour Beauty Supply
Treatment Curly Hair Moisturizing Shampoo Keratin and Cupuacu ButternuNAATnuNAATGlamour Beauty Supply
Luxury Care 3 Plus Frizz Control ShampooLuxury CareInspired Beauty Brands, Inc.Glamour Beauty Supply
Anti Breakage Neutralizing Shampoo GelMega GrowthStrength Of NatureGlamour Beauty Supply
Tea Tree Special ShampooPaul MitchellJohn Paul Mitchell SystemsGlamour Beauty Supply
Plant Extracts & Moroccan Argan oil Dry, Itchy Scalp Shampoo Controls DandruffAt One With NatureBioCare LabGlamour Beauty Supply
Gentle Cleansing & Conditioning Shampoo Aromatic Natural Essences pH balancedCalm CleanseJohnson Products Co.Glamour Beauty Supply
Hair Polisher Shampoo with “Sparkle Lites”FantasiaFantasia IndustriesGlamour Beauty Supply
African Essence Neutralizing Shampoo Plus Proteins and ConditionersAfrican EssenceUniversal Beauty ProductsGlamour Beauty Supply
VIA Natural Style Moisturizing ShampooVIAUniversal Beauty ProductsGlamour Beauty Supply
Fair Trade Honey ShampooLushLushLush
Sunflower & Coconut Detangling Conditioning ShampooCrème Of NatureColomer USASafeway
Medicated Shampoo Slednium Sulfide Dandruff Shampooup&upTargetTarget
Salon Shampoo (for Extra-Dry Hair)ParnevuAdvantage Research LaboratoriesLynas Beauty Depot
Shea Butter ShampooSofn’freen’prettyM&M Products CompanyLynas Beauty Depot
Conditioning ShampooLuster’s Pink BrandLuster Products, Inc.Lynas Beauty Depot
Coconut Oil Formula Conditioning ShampooPalmer’sE.T. Browne Drug Co.Lynas Beauty Depot
Neutralizing Shampoo (With DL Panthenol)VitaleAFAM ConceptLynas Beauty Depot
Extra Moisturizing Hand WashDermasil/Rise International Group LLCRise International Group99 Cent Only Stores
Moisturizing Shampoo with Panthenol (Placenta & Vitamin E)La BellaNewhall Laboratories, Inc.99 Cent Only Stores
Despicable Me Hand Wash (tickled pink rose bonbon)Delon LaboratoriesDelon Laboratories99 Cent Only Stores
Tingling Gro Shampoo with Flaking ControlDoo GroNature’s ProteinSally Beauty Company
KeraCare  Anti-Dandruff Moisturizing ShampooKeraCareAvlon Industries, Inc.Macy’s
Dandruff Moisturizing ShampooFolicureAlberto Culver USASally Beauty Company
Mixed Berry Anti-Bacterial Foaming Hand SoapSimple PleasuresTri-Coastal DesignKohl’s
Vanilla Rose Bubble BathSimple PleasuresPaula Scaletta Licensed to Tri-Coastal DesignKohl’s
berry burst shower gelscentsations by bodysourceMade Especially for Kohl’s Department StoreKohl’s
Lemon Handwash  Gift SetBrompton and LangleyUpper Canada SoapSears
French Lavender Hand and Body Wash Gift SetAmelie’s GardenUpper Canada SoapSears
Moroccanoil Extra Volume ShampooMoroccanoilMoroccanoilBlooming Beauty
Julius Caesar Redreshing Citrus Scent Concentrated Shower GelZirch Warrior CollectionTPR Holdings LLCMarshalls
I love Vanilla & Ice Cream Bubble Bath and Shower GelI love…I love cosmetics limitedRoss
Coconut Lime HandsoapPure PassionBiolab International Inc.Ross
Lalaloopsy Cotton Candy Bubble BathLalaloopsyAdded ExtrasRoss
Super Minty Soapy Suds Body wash + Bubbling BathBlissBlissRoss
Olive & Shea Mositurizing Shower Wash Vanilla SpiceTree HutNaterra InternationalRoss
Organic Cleanse Deep Cleansing Shampoo with Oatmeal ProteinDesign EssentialsMcBride Research LaboratoriesJC Penny
Moisturizing Shampoo for all hair typesBody TimeBody TimeBody Time
Lemon Kitchen Hand SoapTrader Joe’sTrader Joe’sTrader Joe’s
All Natural moisturizing Shower Gel YuzuShiKaiShiKai ProductsAndronico’s
2 in1 Shampoo and ConditionerToys R UsToys R UsBabies ‘R’ Us
Body Wash ylang ylang & gingerPharmacaPharmacaPharmaca
avocado oil moisturizing shower gelAustralian OrganicsKent CosmeticsTJ Maxx
Lemon Balm White Musk Hand WashD&H AustraliaDickens  & Hawthorne AustraliaTJ Maxx
Eucalyptus Aloe Hand SoapCSTCSTTJ Maxx
Honey B Crème HandwashScottish Fine SoapsScottish Fine Soaps CompanyTJ Maxx
Enriched wtith Argan oil Restorative ShampooBeauty Products MgoadorChic Cosmetic Ind.TJ Maxx
White Nectarine & Pear Cleansing Hand WashBoutiqueGrace Cole Co.TJ Maxx
Lavender Conditioning HandwashBrown & Harris EnglandHotHouse Partnerships LTDTJ Maxx
English Rose Moisturizing Hand WashA & SAsquith & SomersetTJ Maxx
Best Face Forward Daily Foaming Cleanser Passionfruit + Green TeaFormula 10.0.6Aspire BrandsUlta
Triple Action Bath, Shower, & Hair Wash Revitalizing Rosemary Mintc. Booth simple. Natural. Trusted.Freeman Beauty Labs/ pH Beauty LabsUlta
Advanced Volume Shampoo with Expansion TechnologyNick ChavezPerfect PlusUlta
Bubble Bath Calm One with lemon balmCalm AllThe Soap & Glory CosmeticsSephora
Lemon Basil Shea Butter Hand SoapMichel Design WorksMichel Design WorksBristol Farms
Philip B. Peppermint & Avocado Volumizing and Clarifying ShampooPhillip B.Phillip B Inc.Bloomingdale’s
Lemon Verbena Hand Wash GelAccessory ZoneAccessory ZoneSears
Mango Body WashBootsThe Boots CompanyTarget
Citrus Blush Shower GelChampneysBoots RetailTarget
White Tea and Ginger Neutralizing ShampooAmpro/Pro Styl/ Neutra FoamAmpro IndustriesLucky
Lychee Flower Hand And Body WashMorMorNordstrom Rack
Zinc ShampooDHSPerson & Covey
Bubble Bath Sweet WaterRRYSpaRRYSpaburlington coat factory
Skinny Girl Shower Gel MargaritaSkinny GirlLotta Luvburlington coat factory
Peppermint Bubble BathElegant Home DesignElegant Home Designburlington coat factory
Apothecary Lemon Verbana Bath and Shower GelApothecaryInternational Design Associatesburlington coat factory
French Lavender Cleansing Hand WashBaylis & Harding EnglandBaylis & Harding PLCburlington coat factory
American Crew Classic Daily ShampooAmerican CrewAmerican CrewSaks Fifth Avenue
Herb Hand SoapDaisoDaiso IndustriesDaiso
Hair Plump Volumizing ShampooBig & BoldFisk IndustriesBeauty Palace
Blondes Lemon flower ShampooARTECARTec Systems GroupBeauty Palace
Rejuvi Shower CreamRejuviRejuvi Laboratory
The Revitalizer Body Wash (Cucumber + Grapefruit)PorticoPortico Home +
Colour Protecting Caviar ShampooKelly Van GoghKelly Van Gogh
Walnut Body ScrubBanzai Living IncBanzai Living IncIchiban Kan
Clear Lemon & Mint Body SoapAroma ResortPMAIIchiban Kan
Bath/Shower Gelee with Green Tea and AloeDr. Michelle CopelandDr. Michelle Copeland Skin
Lavender Shower Gel with cucumber, arnica, and aloe veraelizabeth W san franciscoE Wightnan &
Caring Hand Wash Fig & Pink CedarNougat LondonNougat LondonTuesday Morning
Hydrating ShampooMoroccanoilMoroccanoilRegis Salon




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