This Carcinogenic & Illegal Chemical Was Found In Nearly 100 Shampoo Brands


Toxicity obtained through hygienic products is one of the last things consumers tend to worry about when shopping for a cleanser or shampoo and conditioner set. Yet according to a recent finding, being aware of what one is lathering up with is a very real concern . This is specially so, since many companies have not been honest about what chemicals are truly in their products.

When the Center for Environmental Health based in Oakland, California performed an analysis on shampoos and soaps, they found that at least 98 included a carcinogen known as cocamide diethanolamine (cocamide DEA).

This highly controversial ingredient, common in many body-care products, has landed four personal care manufacturers a lawsuit in California.

Filed by the Center for Environmental Health after discovering cocamide DEA, these companies face massive implications for their actions. It is against the law (Proposition 65) for manufacturers to utilize certain substances and not warn their consumers.

Presence of this chemical is a serious concern, as the foam stabilizer and volumizer agent is a suspected carcinogen. In fact, it was banned in the state of California last year after a study found it caused cancer in laboratory animals.

Some of your favorite – and well-known – body and hair care companies might use this ingredient. Some of the implicated include Colgate Palmolive, Paul Mitchell, and Prell.

According to the lab findings, the carcinogen is also in children’s products, including store-brand bubble bath from KMart, and a shampoo/conditioner from Babies R Us. Other store products that contain the carcinogen came from Trader Joe’s, Walmart, and Kohl’s.

The entire list of all 98 products that contain cocamide DEA can be found here

Since the lawsuit was launched last year, only three companies have committed to reformulate their products – be aware. Those products that claim will be reformulated without the carcinogen are highlighted in green.

Here’s a helpful list of other chemicals to be aware of. If they’re in your cleanser, ditch them for a better alternative:


The unfortunate truth is that manufacturers can put any toxic chemical they desire to into shampoos because the FDA allows an odd list of chemicals to be used in these products. These include chemicals that are known carcinogens and that contribute to liver failure and endocrine problems.

For this reason – and many more, we assure you – it is your your job as a consumer to be aware of what you are putting in your mouth and on your body. Let this list help you when deciding what hygienic  products to purchase in the near future.

Remember – you vote with your dollar, so companies that have not labeled this carcinogenic chemical do not deserve your hard-earned flow. Make your own shampoo or support proven, eco-friendly brands that care about you and your family’s health.

Article originally published on