California NGO launches lawsuit over cancer risk in personal care products

The Center for Environmental Health, a California-based environmental group, has launched a suit against four companies that sell shampoos, soaps, and personal care products claiming that the products contain a known carcinogen and that they are not labelled “WARNING: This product contains chemicals known to the State of California to cause cancer and birth defects or other reproductive harm” as required by State law.

CEH has published a list of 98 products which contain cocamide diethanolamine (cocamide DEA), used as a foaming agent and emulsifier in many products. Cocamide DEA was listed by California as a known carcinogen in June of last year. Michael Green, Executive Director of CEH, is quoted as stating “consumers need to know that they could be doused with a cancer-causing chemical every time they shower or shampoo”.

The list of products purchased in the San Francisco Bay area that CEH claims have shown positive  for the presence of cocamide DEA in testing by an independent laboratory includes some with such well-known brand names as Colgate-Palmolive Co., Walmart, Target, Alberto Culver USA, Upper Canada Soap, and Toys R Us.

GallonDaily does not know whether similar products in the Canadian market contain cocamide DEA.

The CEH announcement of its legal action and the list of products which it claims contain cocamide DEA can be found at

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