ecostore New Zealand Blog

Nasty chemical of the month: cocamide DEA
Posted On September 13th, 2013

Boy enjoying a bubble bath

Do you know what’s in your shampoo or in your baby’s bubble bath? If not it could be time to find out. Many of us assume that if a product’s available on our supermarket shelves then it must be safe, but this is not always the case. Another easy assumption to make is that all plant-based chemicals are better for you than petrochemicals. While this is true to an extent there are also a few plant-based or ‘natural’ chemicals such as cocamide DEA that are worth avoiding.

Cocamide Diethanolamine or Cocamide DEA is a modified form of coconut oil that’s used as a thickener or foam stabiliser (to produce long lasting bubbles) in a range of household products including shampoos, soaps, bubble baths and other body care products.

A report released in August 2013 by an Environmental not for profit group called ‘Center for Environmental Health’ (CEH) has confirmed that cocamide DEA is still being used in a number of consumer goods despite being listed by the State of California EPA in June 2012 as a chemical known to cause cancer. Recent tests carried out by CEH found cocamide DEA in 98 shampoos, soaps and other body care products.

Our suggestion – err on the side of caution and next time you’re in the shower or out shopping for hair shampoo or other personal care items, be sure to read the labels of the products you and your family are using, is there any cocamide DEA in them?

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