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Organic Consumers Association

Oops: Illegal Carcinogen Found in Nearly 100 Shampoos

For related articles and more information, please visit OCA's Coming Clean Campaign page.

You'd think that something you buy at the grocery store and slather on your head would be tested to make sure it won't kill you. Or at least that it wouldn't include a suspected carcinogen banned in at least one state.

Unfortunately, you'd be wrong.

Amanda Just of Ecorazzi writes:

The Center for Environmental Health, based in Oakland, California, did some independent laboratory tests on 98 shampoos and soaps to determine if they contained cocamide diethanolamine, also known as cocamide DEA, a chemical that is outlawed in the state of California because it is possibly carcinogenic to humans. The ingredient is a chemically modified form of coconut oil that acts as thickener or foaming agent.

Some of the products that contain high levels of the illegal chemical are sold under well-known companies such as Colgate Palmolive, Paul Mitchell, and Prell. Lab tests also found the carcinogen in children's products, such as a store brand bubble bath from KMart, and a shampoo/conditioner from Babies R Us. Other store brand products that contain the carcinogen came from Trader Joe's, Walmart, and Kohl's.

The Center for Environmental Health is holding the companies accountable, suing Walgreens, Lake Consumer Products, Vogue International, and the manufacturer of Prell. Some of the products containing cocamide are marketed to kids, and one even lies that it's organic.     


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