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Part Three of a Series:

Dermatology products

Image via Wikipedia

Exposing greenwashing and

chemical toxicity in our

trusted products


Why should soft, thick hair come with the price tag of “Carcinogen” attached?

Should we be concerned with brain development disruption for unborn fetuses?

Why are our drug stores full of products that have concerning ingredients?

I don’t have a chemical degree, so it’s hard to read and understand labels in commercial products.  There are some that are most disturbing based on the research out there.  I’d like to err on the side of ‘prove it safe’ rather than take my chances…but the FDA disagreed with that approach when they made our personal care products a self-regulated industry.

Remember the old saying, “Coffee, Tea or Me”?  Try to avoid the ingredients “DEA, TEA or MEA”!

Read what Science Daily wrote about DEA as one of the concerning ingredients here.

While the long term effects of our minimal exposure to toxic ingredients in our everyday products is unknown, we do know some disturbing facts:

Fact #1:  Europe has banned many toxic ingredients from personal care products, but they are still available in hundreds of products in the U.S.  One of these toxins is DEA, or Diethanolamine.  DEA is used as a wetting or thickening agent in commercial shampoos, shaving creams, bubble bath, soaps, hairsprays and sunscreens.

Fact #2: More than 100,000 tons of DEA are sold each year in the U.S., so it’s a very commonly used ingredient, unless you seek out genuine organic, toxic-free products.

Fact #3: The National Toxicology Program reported an increased chance of liver and kidney tumors in mice when DEA was put on their skin.  There is evidence that it blocks the production of the nutrient choline, which is essential for brain development, especially for our unborn children.

Fact #4:  DEA can also show up as a contaminant in products containing related chemicals, such as cocamide DEA.

Try to avoid these ingredients, if you believe, like I do, that the mice who were tested are evidence enough for me to steer clear of these toxins:

  • Cocamide DEA
  • Cocamide MEA
  • DEA-Cetyl Phosphate
  • DEA Oleth-3 Phosphate
  • DEA Lauryl Sulfacte
  • Lauramide DEA
  • Linoleamide MEA
  • Myristamide DEA
  • Oleamide DEA
  • Stearamide MEA
  • TEA-Lauryl Sulfate
  • Any product containing TEA or Triethanolamine