Here in the US, it seems quite frequently we find that many things that are not supposed to be present in our products actually are. Back in 2013, a huge issue was brought to light and since it does not seem much has been done to combat it or prevent it from happening again.
The Center for Environmental Health revealed several years back that a cancer-causing chemical was present in at least 98 or more personal care products sold by several big-name retailers. For those who did not hear about this, the chemical being addressed was cocamide diethanolamine. Some of the products that were found to include high levels of this chemical were handsoaps, shampoos, bubble baths, shower gels, and so much more.
CEH wrote as follows in regards to these findings on their website:
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 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%) 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.
These findings actually pushed the organization (CEH) to file a lawsuit against at least four major companies for selling these tainted products. While things are still underway even now, a very small number of companies involved have actually agreed to reformulate their products and remove this dangerous toxic ingredient. If you are not familiar with DEA or cocamide diethanolamine you should work to become more aware. It is a colorless liquid that is listed by the International Agency for Research on Cancer as a known cause. The IARC actually pushed the State of California to make the ban that outlawed their presence in that area.
Even in smaller doses lots of people have noted having allergic reactions to this chemical and experience rashes. It is something that builds up in a person’s body and can overtime potentially cause serious life-threatening illnesses. To see the list of brands and products affected by this research click here or check out the video below. How Many of these products have you used and will you continue to use them in the future?
The List (Source):
It should also be noted that since the above-mentioned lawsuit by CEH became present there have been a few brands that claim that they will be removing this toxic ingredient from their products which include Palmolive/Colgate-Palmolive Co., Lush, and Michel Design Works. We can only hope that more follow suit in the future. However, it is quite concerning considering just how long the list is as a whole.