What you need to know about cancer causing shampoo

By: Health Local Staff Nov 25, 2013
  Article
What you need to know about cancer causing shampoo

Ever wonder what you’re putting on your hair, head and scalp, every time you shower? The answer may surprise you.

A recent report released from the Center for Environmental Health reveals dozens of soaps, shampoos, conditioners and other personal care products contain a carcinogenic chemical known as cocamide diethanolamine – cocamide DEA.

What’s Wrong With Coconut Oils?
Coconut oil in its natural form is not harmful, but cocamide is another story. Masked on the label of some shampoos, cocamide DEA comes off as innocent. Most consumers believe they are buying a product that is derived from coconut oil. But makers of the shampoos tinker around with the ingredients presenting a toxic andunnatural form.

In 2012, under Proposition 65, the state of California listed cocamide DEA as a known carcinogen. The Center for Environmental Health filed a lawsuit in California against big-named companies that sold shampoos containing this ingredient. Target, Walmart and Babies ‘R’ Us were among the major retailers named in the lawsuit. Most consumers believe that retailers must sell products tested for safety, but this is not the case among many products.

How To Be Safe
Awareness is a lifesaver. Consumers need to know that every time they shower and wash their hair they are using a product that could be harming them. The Center for Environmental Health expects companies to reduce the risk and take the necessary action to eliminate harm to families, but the process takes time.

Informing yourself of the ingredients found in the products you use could help eliminate exposure to problematic products. Read the labels and make sure that you do not use shampoo or conditioner containing cocamide DEA. If you have these products, discard them and no longer use them on your children or yourself.

It is important to also be informed of falsely labeled products. One study showed that organic products may be falsely labeled and advertised. A product known as Organic by Africa’s Best, recently tested extremely high for levels of cancer-causing ingredients. Just because the name of the product was Organic, consumers thought that the item was organic. This was not the case.

Consumer awareness is the key to safety. Read the labels and watch for cocamide DEA. Some shampoos may contain trace chemicals, and low percentages, but if the carcinogen is in the product, do not use it.

Using natural and organic products prevent lathering your body in carcinogenic chemicals. A consumer safety group, known as the Environmental Working Group, has posted a banned products list as well as a safe products list. Familiarize yourself with the beauty products and avoid offering your family shampoos or conditioners that may harm them. Remember that awareness will save lives.

The Health Local Staff is a team of writers and experts dedicated to bringing you the latest health, nutrition and lifestyle information at www.healthlocal.ca.