Cancer Causing Chemicals Found In Popular Soaps & Shampoos

If you're anything like me, when it comes to buying beauty products, you're a sucker for the words "natural" or "organic" in the brand name. And there are certain brand names that are associated with being natural and organic that you also probably go for.  Because, you know, you think they're natural and organic, which is another way of saying "Not chock-full of a bunch of chemicals that might give you cancer!" BUT. If you're also like me, you don't read the ingredients label, or if you do, you read only until you get to words like "olive" or "plant" or "shea" and think, It's all cool. BUT. Apparently. It's NOT. Because a lot of our trusted brands contain a chemical that is proven to be cancer causing, according to a watchdog group.


The Center for Environmental Health filed a lawsuit against four companies that it says sells products that contain cocamide DEA, a chemically modified version of coconut oil, that is used in many soaps and shampoos. That sounds all nice and natural -- coconut oil, what could go wrong? -- but apparently it's a cancer-causing ingredient!

And brace yourself, because CEH independently tested soaps, shampoos and other beauty products, and found 98 of them contain the harmful ingredient -- and many of those products are the favs of health-conscious buyers like you and me! Ugh.

Said Michael Green (that's really his name!), the head of CEH:

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.

And yikes, a lot of these products (listed here) are the ones whose names you trust to be all healthy and cocoanutty and NOT cancer-causing cocoanutty.

In fact, at least two of the products are marketed specifically for babies! Then you've got your "falsely labeled" organic products, says CEH. And this is the same company that CEH already won a lawsuit against for "falsely labeled" organics in the past!

Wow. Just. WOW. I will definitely be looking for that ingredient in my products in the future, but it makes you wonder how many other ingredients out there are cancer-causing, and how you trust which products have them and which don't. What's scary is that it appears you wouldn't even know if these agents were in the products, because CEH had to test them to find out. Most of us don't have our own chemical testing lab at home.

Really makes you wonder what to buy, who to trust. And makes you a little more aware of why cancer is so prevelant. Hey, baking soda. That can be used for just about anything, right?

Does this make you concerned about your beauty products?


Image via Horia Varlan/Flickr


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