Cancer-Causing Chemical Found in 98 Shampoos and Soaps


soapTests ordered by an environmental watchdog group revealed the presence of a cancer-causing chemical in dozens of personal care products that lack a warning label required by California law.

The compound, a chemically modified form of coconut oil-cocamide diethanolamine (cocamide DEA)-is used as a foaming agent or thickener in soaps, shampoos, conditioners, and similar products.

An independent laboratory commissioned by the Center for Environmental Health (CEH) tested the products to determine how much cocamide DEA was present. CEH purchased these products after June 2013 from online and local California retailers, such as Trader Joe’s, Walmart, Kohl’s, and Babies R Us.

Many of the products tested contained more than 10,000 parts per million (ppm) of cocamide DEA. In all, CEH identified 98 products with cocamide DEA among the ingredients, none of which carried the warning required by state law.

“The state has not set a [safety] level specific to cocamide DEA,” says Charles Margulis, Communications Director and Food Program Director of CEH, “but the levels we found exceed levels typical for carcinogens.”


{ Newscenter}


  1. This is probably why I like the Johnsons and Johnsons baby shampoos when I use my washing times. Its just so simple its nice. And I hate the chemical assortment of green and other colored shampoos! I hate it when I think my hair will glow!