#7–DEA, cocamide DEA and lauramide DEA–More Harmful Products

Jun 24th, 2011 | By Sharon Shaw Elrod MSW EdD | Category: For Senior Women

We all like that creamy, sudsy feeling we experience when we step in the shower and apply the body wash or cleanser we use.  The more our shampoos suds-up, the better it feels!  Well, Senior Friends, that sudsy stuff is diethanolamine.  And that chemical is both a health and environmental hazard.  The David Suzuki Foundation has done the research for us, and you can read it for yourself.  It is well-documented.

The International Agency for Research on Cancer has a classification system for potentially harmful chemicals.  They classify DEA as a possible human carcinogen.  Nitrites are especially problematic when used with DEA, because the two can react to form nitrosamines, also classified as a possible human carcinogen.  Nitrites are frequently added to products as an anti-corrosive agent.

The Danish Environmental Protection Agency classifies harmful chemicals according to their effects on animals and organisms.  That agency classifies cocamide DEA as hazardous to the environment.   Research shows it is highly toxic to aquatic organisms (things that live in water) and has a serious potential for bio-accumulation.  What does that mean?  DEA can get into organisms and accumulate within those bodies to the point there is so much present that it kills the organism.

International regulations on DEA are strong.  The European Union Cosmetics Directive limits the concentration and use of cocamide and lauramide DEA in skin care products, and further limits the maximum nitrosamine concentration in personal care products that contain DEA.  It’s obvious there is something to be concerned about here.

MEA (monoethanolamide) and TEA (triethanolamine) are related to DEA; they can have an interaction with other chemicals in skin care products that ultimately forms carcinogenic nitrosamines.

DEA needs to be avoided.  As for me and my family, as long as there are safe and beneficial personal care products available, that’s what we’re using.



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