Gallery: Illegal Cancer-Causing Chemicals Found in Nearly 100 Well-Know...


You may have thought that the worst thing your shampoo could do to you is to sting your eyes, but it turns out that your shampoo could be deadly. The Center for Environmental Health based in Oakland, California, performed a study on shampoos and soaps and found that 98 included a possible carcinogen known as cocamide diethanolamine (cocamide DEA).

Cocamide DEA is a chemically modified form of coconut oil that is used as a thickener or foaming agent in shampoo. However, the state of California has outlawed its use, because it may be carcinogenic to humans. The CEH is suing companies producing and distributing these products, including Prell, Paul Mitchell and Colgate Palmolive shampoos. Also included are products marketed to children, and even one which falsely claims to be organic (Organic by Africa’s Best.)

Until things are resolved, it seems like getting shampoo in your eyes may have become the least of your concerns. You can find a full list of all 98 suspect shampoos here.

Via Grist

Images from Maegan Tintari and Desi


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  1. Crystal Kasper July 1, 2015 at 2:12 pm

    Don’t wash your hair with baking soda regularly because your scalp is supposed to be acidic and you will ruin your hair. I do like to use it on occasion as it makes your hair so soft and binds to radiation from the air so it can be washed away. Someone asked what is good? Well do what you want but I use castile soap with occasional organic cold-pressed virgin coconut oil treatments, no conditioner needed. Many brands make a castile multi-purpose soap but I choose Dr.Bronner’s. It’s a little spendy but you are diluting it by at least x4 or more and they’re big bottles. It actually comes out cheaper than the toxic stuff. It can be diluted even more depending what you want to use it for. You can replace every toxic soap in your home with it and it comes in many scents as well as unscented. It is made with organic oils so it moisturizes as it cleans. I have replaced every soap, dish soap, hand soap, floor mopping, everything. No more chemicals! Vote with your dollars!

  2. Elo Heart June 24, 2015 at 12:48 pm

    No way

  3. Paula Byles April 24, 2015 at 4:26 pm

    time to give it a try.

  4. weniki89 December 16, 2014 at 8:12 pm

    One of my friends has switched from shampoo to just baking soda and water, and her hair looks healthy and shiny.
    Someone commented that shampoo strips the natural oils from our scalps – It seems to be true (at least, it’s been true for me). The more I shampoo my hair, the more often I need to: I used to have to wash my hair every single day, otherwise it was greasy the next day. When I became disabled almost 10 years ago, I wasn’t physically able to wash my hair that often anymore. After an (admittedly) rough adjustment period, I can now easily go days and days without washing my hair – it still looks and smells clean, and doesn’t get greasy like it used to. I have found that using apple cider vinegar sometimes makes my hair shinier, but I’ve learned to dilute it with water (maybe 1 part apple cider vinegar to 5 or 6 parts water?). Otherwise, my hair smelled a bit like vinegar even after it was dry, no matter how well I rinsed it.

  5. Jeane December 10, 2014 at 10:01 am

    WhIch ones

  6. Dave Shi December 8, 2014 at 11:19 pm

    That’s why u don’t buy personal products from K-mart

  7. Ukapirms November 22, 2014 at 9:16 pm

    Some people use eggs to wash their hair

  8. kat712 November 20, 2014 at 3:41 pm

    antidisc, I can personally vouch for the fact that some people really can go 4 to 5 days without washing their hair without it smelling. I use the no poo method off and on (usually when my dandruff is bad.. it helps clear it up), but I also use regular shampoo. I don’t LIKE to go 4 to 5 days without washing, but I have before, and have still had people tell me that my hair smells GOOD. Not just not stinky.. GOOD. Some peoples body chemistry allow them to go that long between washes. I personally use Loreal OleoTherapy, and I LOVE it. Happy it’s not on the list!

  9. LisaL November 19, 2014 at 5:22 pm …This is what they should have replaced it with long ago. It’s probably a more expensive ingredient.

  10. antidisc November 18, 2014 at 6:02 am

    Washing every 4-5 days. Ok, your hair is ‘healthy’ but how does it smell? I know a lot of people who don’t wash their hair often and I can smell it. You could be punishing the people around you.

  11. Pam Maxwell November 17, 2014 at 7:44 am

    I have waist length greying hair and for the past 3 years I have been using the “no poo” method of cleansing my hair. Simply put it’s using NO shampoo. I use a mixture of water and baking soda for cleansing and a mixture of apple cider vinegar and water for softening/conditioning. My hair hasn’t been this shiny and healthy in YEARS. Shampoo, plain and simple is a gimmick. The more you shampoo the more you have to shampoo. Shampoo strips the natural oils from your hair and when that happens your scalp works overtime to replace them. Instead of having to wash my hair every other day, I wash my hair every 4 to 5 days. It’s cheap, good for the environment and has nothing in it to harm me. Oh, and btw my 21 year old son uses the same method.

  12. Karola Cavagna November 17, 2014 at 7:00 am

    wow, I only use Lemongrass spa products,
    I had no idea..

  13. Ashley Stewart November 16, 2014 at 8:35 pm

    a friend posted this link to my wall- I am a big lover of the “Arbonne” products- so much so, I became a consultant!! love helping to educate and be educated. I am glad my shampoos arent on this list :)

  14. May Li November 16, 2014 at 6:34 pm

    It doesnt say the brand for some of these products like the 2 in 1 shampoo and conditioner by toys r us

  15. Lisa Stork November 16, 2014 at 4:18 pm

    I use Ava Anderson Non-toxic and love it!

  16. LillyT October 9, 2014 at 8:54 pm

    It seems to be a daily occurrence that we are told there is some destructive chemical in something we use. For hair products the best I have found (smells amazing too) is Probiotic Shampoo and Conditioner from Air Thai Life. Not the cheapest out there but it is incredible. You can find her stuff at

  17. kazihossain September 15, 2014 at 8:57 am

    Consumer need to take any legal action for that

  18. Rek Acman July 1, 2014 at 4:48 am

    So you lose your hair and spend all your earnings to restore them-Pharma business..wake up!

  19. Jair Campos June 30, 2014 at 3:42 pm

    What about Cocamidopropyl betaine ? is that dangerous as well?

  20. Margo Kelley June 6, 2014 at 12:14 am

    So what IS good, especially for fine, long, greying hair (trying to grow for “Locks-of-Love”) I rinse w/ Apple cider vinegar to “contract my hair ends” (from my hair care gal).

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