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) Prell Ultimark Products Walgreens
Medicated Conditioning Shampoo MG217 Lake Consumer Products Rite Aid
Daily Shampoo American Crew Classic American Crew Kmart
Olive Oil Shampoo Organics by Africa’s Best House of Cheatham Glamour Beauty Supply
Caprice (Acti-Ceramidas Shampoo) Palmolive Colgate-Palmolive Co. FoodMaxx
Mane ‘n Tail Shampoo Straight Arrow Straight Arrow Products FoodMaxx
Climate Control Defrizzing Shampoo Ouidad Ouidad Products Sephora
TUI (moisturizing sulfate-free shampoo) Carols Daughter Carols Daughter Products Sephora
Brilliance Shampoo Rusk Rusk Kmart
Kid’s Bubble Bath (Bubble Gum Scent) Little Ones/Kmart Kmart Kmart
Clasic Herbal Essence Shampoo (all hair types) Vanart Made by Estilo Y Vanidad, Distributed by Midway Importing Kmart
Therapeutic Anti-Dandruff Shampoo TopCare Topco Associates, LLC Lucky
Cleanse Hydrating Shampoo BIOSILK Farouk Systems Lucky
Maximum Strength Medicated Dandruff Shampoo Equate Walmart Walmart
Awapuhi Ginger Shampoo Organix Vogue International Walgreens
“Ricitos de Oro” Chamomile Baby Shampoo Grisi  unknown Walgreens
Cabellino Shampoo Chile Con Romero Grandall Grandall Dist. Co Kmart
Dandruff Shampoo Selenium Sulfide Image Essentials Kmart Kmart
Nutress Hair Protein Pack Treatment Shampoo nutresshair Gabel’s Cosmetics, Inc. Glamour Beauty Supply
Treatment Curly Hair Moisturizing Shampoo Keratin and Cupuacu Butter nuNAAT nuNAAT Glamour Beauty Supply
Luxury Care 3 Plus Frizz Control Shampoo Luxury Care Inspired Beauty Brands, Inc. Glamour Beauty Supply
Anti Breakage Neutralizing Shampoo Gel Mega Growth Strength Of Nature Glamour Beauty Supply
Tea Tree Special Shampoo Paul Mitchell John Paul Mitchell Systems Glamour Beauty Supply
Plant Extracts & Moroccan Argan oil Dry, Itchy Scalp Shampoo Controls Dandruff At One With Nature BioCare Lab Glamour Beauty Supply
Gentle Cleansing & Conditioning Shampoo Aromatic Natural Essences pH balanced Calm Cleanse Johnson Products Co. Glamour Beauty Supply
Hair Polisher Shampoo with “Sparkle Lites” Fantasia Fantasia Industries Glamour Beauty Supply
African Essence Neutralizing Shampoo Plus Proteins and Conditioners African Essence Universal Beauty Products Glamour Beauty Supply
VIA Natural Style Moisturizing Shampoo VIA Universal Beauty Products Glamour Beauty Supply
Fair Trade Honey Shampoo Lush Lush Lush
Sunflower & Coconut Detangling Conditioning Shampoo Crème Of Nature Colomer USA Safeway
Medicated Shampoo Slednium Sulfide Dandruff Shampoo up&up Target Target
Salon Shampoo (for Extra-Dry Hair) Parnevu Advantage Research Laboratories Lynas Beauty Depot
Shea Butter Shampoo Sofn’freen’pretty M&M Products Company Lynas Beauty Depot
Conditioning Shampoo Luster’s Pink Brand Luster Products, Inc. Lynas Beauty Depot
Coconut Oil Formula Conditioning Shampoo Palmer’s E.T. Browne Drug Co. Lynas Beauty Depot
Neutralizing Shampoo (With DL Panthenol) Vitale AFAM Concept Lynas Beauty Depot
Extra Moisturizing Hand Wash Dermasil/Rise International Group LLC Rise International Group 99 Cent Only Stores
Moisturizing Shampoo with Panthenol (Placenta & Vitamin E) La Bella Newhall Laboratories, Inc. 99 Cent Only Stores
Despicable Me Hand Wash (tickled pink rose bonbon) Delon Laboratories Delon Laboratories 99 Cent Only Stores
Tingling Gro Shampoo with Flaking Control Doo Gro Nature’s Protein Sally Beauty Company
KeraCare  Anti-Dandruff Moisturizing Shampoo KeraCare Avlon Industries, Inc. Macy’s
Dandruff Moisturizing Shampoo Folicure Alberto Culver USA Sally Beauty Company
Mixed Berry Anti-Bacterial Foaming Hand Soap Simple Pleasures Tri-Coastal Design Kohl’s
Vanilla Rose Bubble Bath Simple Pleasures Paula Scaletta Licensed to Tri-Coastal Design Kohl’s
berry burst shower gel scentsations by bodysource Made Especially for Kohl’s Department Store Kohl’s
Lemon Handwash  Gift Set Brompton and Langley Upper Canada Soap Sears
French Lavender Hand and Body Wash Gift Set Amelie’s Garden Upper Canada Soap Sears
Moroccanoil Extra Volume Shampoo Moroccanoil Moroccanoil Blooming Beauty
Julius Caesar Redreshing Citrus Scent Concentrated Shower Gel Zirch Warrior Collection TPR Holdings LLC Marshalls
I love Vanilla & Ice Cream Bubble Bath and Shower Gel I love… I love cosmetics limited Ross
Coconut Lime Handsoap Pure Passion Biolab International Inc. Ross
Lalaloopsy Cotton Candy Bubble Bath Lalaloopsy Added Extras Ross
Super Minty Soapy Suds Body wash + Bubbling Bath Bliss Bliss Ross
Olive & Shea Mositurizing Shower Wash Vanilla Spice Tree Hut Naterra International Ross
Organic Cleanse Deep Cleansing Shampoo with Oatmeal Protein Design Essentials McBride Research Laboratories JC Penny
Moisturizing Shampoo for all hair types Body Time Body Time Body Time
Lemon Kitchen Hand Soap Trader Joe’s Trader Joe’s Trader Joe’s
All Natural moisturizing Shower Gel Yuzu ShiKai ShiKai Products Andronico’s
2 in1 Shampoo and Conditioner Toys R Us Toys R Us Babies ‘R’ Us
Body Wash ylang ylang & ginger Pharmaca Pharmaca Pharmaca
avocado oil moisturizing shower gel Australian Organics Kent Cosmetics TJ Maxx
Lemon Balm White Musk Hand Wash D&H Australia Dickens  & Hawthorne Australia TJ Maxx
Eucalyptus Aloe Hand Soap CST CST TJ Maxx
Honey B Crème Handwash Scottish Fine Soaps Scottish Fine Soaps Company TJ Maxx
Enriched wtith Argan oil Restorative Shampoo Beauty Products Mgoador Chic Cosmetic Ind. TJ Maxx
White Nectarine & Pear Cleansing Hand Wash Boutique Grace Cole Co. TJ Maxx
Lavender Conditioning Handwash Brown & Harris England HotHouse Partnerships LTD TJ Maxx
English Rose Moisturizing Hand Wash A & S Asquith & Somerset TJ Maxx
Best Face Forward Daily Foaming Cleanser Passionfruit + Green Tea Formula 10.0.6 Aspire Brands Ulta
Triple Action Bath, Shower, & Hair Wash Revitalizing Rosemary Mint c. Booth simple. Natural. Trusted. Freeman Beauty Labs/ pH Beauty Labs Ulta
Advanced Volume Shampoo with Expansion Technology Nick Chavez Perfect Plus Ulta
Bubble Bath Calm One with lemon balm Calm All The Soap & Glory Cosmetics Sephora
Lemon Basil Shea Butter Hand Soap Michel Design Works Michel Design Works Bristol Farms
Philip B. Peppermint & Avocado Volumizing and Clarifying Shampoo Phillip B. Phillip B Inc. Bloomingdale’s
Lemon Verbena Hand Wash Gel Accessory Zone Accessory Zone Sears
Mango Body Wash Boots The Boots Company Target
Citrus Blush Shower Gel Champneys Boots Retail Target
White Tea and Ginger Neutralizing Shampoo Ampro/Pro Styl/ Neutra Foam Ampro Industries Lucky
Lychee Flower Hand And Body Wash Mor Mor Nordstrom Rack
Zinc Shampoo DHS Person & Covey Inc.
Bubble Bath Sweet Water RRYSpa RRYSpa burlington coat factory
Skinny Girl Shower Gel Margarita Skinny Girl Lotta Luv burlington coat factory
Peppermint Bubble Bath Elegant Home Design Elegant Home Design burlington coat factory
Apothecary Lemon Verbana Bath and Shower Gel Apothecary International Design Associates burlington coat factory
French Lavender Cleansing Hand Wash Baylis & Harding England Baylis & Harding PLC burlington coat factory
American Crew Classic Daily Shampoo American Crew American Crew Saks Fifth Avenue
Herb Hand Soap Daiso Daiso Industries Daiso
Hair Plump Volumizing Shampoo Big & Bold Fisk Industries Beauty Palace
Blondes Lemon flower Shampoo ARTEC ARTec Systems Group Beauty Palace
Rejuvi Shower Cream Rejuvi Rejuvi Laboratory Inc.
The Revitalizer Body Wash (Cucumber + Grapefruit) Portico Portico Home + Spa
Colour Protecting Caviar Shampoo Kelly Van Gogh Kelly Van Gogh LLC
Walnut Body Scrub Banzai Living Inc Banzai Living Inc Ichiban Kan
Clear Lemon & Mint Body Soap Aroma Resort PMAI Ichiban Kan
Bath/Shower Gelee with Green Tea and Aloe Dr. Michelle Copeland Dr. Michelle Copeland Skin Care
Lavender Shower Gel with cucumber, arnica, and aloe vera elizabeth W san francisco E Wightnan & Co
Caring Hand Wash Fig & Pink Cedar Nougat London Nougat London Tuesday Morning
Hydrating Shampoo Moroccanoil Moroccanoil Regis Salon