Toxins are everywhere around us – in the food we eat, the ear we breathe, even the cosmetics we use. But, while consumers are generally concerned about toxins in food as these are ingested directly, poisons obtained through personal hygiene products are usually ignored or disregarded as less harmful. However, a recent study reveals that the toxins contained in commonly used body and skin care products pose a real health threat.
According to the results from the research conducted by the Center for Environmental Health in Oakland, California, at least 98 of commonly used shampoos and soaps contain a carcinogen known as cocamide diethanolamine (cocamide DEA). This chemical used as a foam stabilizer and volumizer is a known carcinogen which has been banned in California after a study revealed it caused cancer in lab animals.
In fact, DEA by itself is not as harmful as it becomes after reacting with other ingredients in the cosmetic formula to form an extremely potent carcinogen called nitrosodiethanolamine (NDEA). It is NDEA which is easily absorbed through your skin and has been linked to many types of cancer including stomach, esophagus, liver and bladder cancers. This interaction is inevitable as it happens while the product is sitting on the store shelves or in your bathroom. As revealed by the study, this ingredient is found in some really popular body and hair care companies including Colgate Palmolive, Paul Mitchell, and Prell.
In addition, lab findings also found this carcinogen in children’s products, such as the store-brand bubble bath from KMart, and a shampoo/conditioner from Babies R Us. Other products on the market that contain the carcinogen are manufactured by Trader Joe’s, Walmart, and Kohl’s.
For a full list of products, click here.
Why is this carcinogen still present in popular brands of shampoos and soaps?
Unfortunately, the FDA allows all sorts of chemicals to be used in these products, thus letting manufacturers to include any toxic ingredients into their products they find suitable. This also includes chemicals that are known carcinogens and that lead to liver failure, endocrine problems as well as nervous system disorders.
What you can do instead?
If you decide to go all-natural, which is your best option, make your own shampoo or stick to verified, environmentally friendly brands that won’t put your or your family’s health at risk. Here we offer a simple recipe for your own all-natural shampoo.
Easy-to-Make Homemade Natural Shampoo
- 1/2 cup coconut milk
- 2/3 cup Castile soap
- 10-15 drops essential oil of your choice
- 2 teaspoons almond oil or olive oil