The Oakland-based Center for Environmental Health has sued four retailers -- Walgreens, Vogue International, Lake Consumer Products and Ultimark Products -- for allegedly selling shampoos and personal care products that contain thecarcinogenic chemical cocamide diethanolamine (cocamide DEA) without proper warning, CEH Communications Director Charles Margulis told The Huffington Post.
If the claims are true, the companies may be in violation of California law, as the state identified the chemical as cancer-causing in June 2012. Under Proposition 65, businesses must notify Californians of "significant" amounts of chemicals in products for purchase. Cocamide DEA, a chemically modified form of coconut oil, is used in shampoos and other personal care products as a thickener or foaming agent. Companies were given until June 2013 to comply and properly label the products.
These companies are only the first four of more than 100 against which the CEH has vowed to pursue legal action; others include Trader Joe's, Walmart, Kohl's and Sephora, Margulis told HuffPost. According to a study commissioned by the CEH (which is not yet available online), the chemical was found in 98 products, including some manufactured by Paul Mitchell, Colgate Palmolive and Colomer. Other products marked as organic or marketed for children were also found to contain the carcinogen.
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