Cancer-Causing Chemical Found in Hundreds of Popular Brand Shampoos

SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — An Oakland health group is warning the public about a chemical found in hundreds of popular shampoos discovered to cause cancer.

The Center for Environmental Health (CEH) in Oakland announced Monday that it has reached legal agreements with 26 major companies to remove “Cocamide DEA” from their shampoos and personal care products.

UPDATE: Does your shampoo contain cancer-causing chemicals? (read list)

Under California’s Prop 65 Consumer Protection Law, the compound — a chemically modified form of coconut oil — cocamide diethanolamine (cocamide DEA) was added to a list of chemicals known to cause cancer over a year ago.

Caroline Cox, research director at the CEH, was baffled to learn that the chemical was still being used.

“I was surprised how many different shampoos had cocamide DEA in them,” Cox said.

Cocamide DEA is used as a foaming agent or thickener in household products such as soaps, shampoos and conditioners.

Majors companies like Colgate and Walgreens, and more than 100 other companies, have not removed the Cocamide DEA.

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