Cocamide DEA found in some shampoo bottles can be a health risk.

Author: Eryka Washington , Consumer Reporter, Fill-in anchor,

Published On: Aug 18 2014 03:09:02 PM EDT   Updated On: Aug 19 2014 07:10:10 AM EDT

Local 6 is learning new information on a story covered earlier this year. The Center for Environmental Health has been fighting to get the cancer-causing chemical called Cocamide DEA off store shelves.

[WEB EXTRA: Click here to see list of manufacturers removing Cocamide DEA ]

The nonprofit group found the cancer causing chemical in nearly 100 shampoos, soaps and bubble bath.

Local 6 are told that soon most of the products will no longer contain Cocamide DEA.

Cocamide DEA comes from coconut oil and is a foaming agent used to make bubbles and also acts as a thickener.

But it is also a carcinogen– a cancer-causing chemical.

Caroline Cox, research director at Centers for Environmental Health, said every time you squeeze the shampoo bottle you’re putting your family at risk.

“At least one percent of what’s in your hand is Cocamide DEA and that going in your hair and absorbed in your skin,” Cox said.

For the last year the Centers for Environmental Health has been in litigation with manufactures to get products containing Cocamide DEA off store shelves.

To date, Colgate-Palmolive, Saks, Shikai, and Walgreens are just a few of the 55 companies who have agreed to remove Cocamide DEA from their products since May.

The decision stems from a California Consumer Protection Law called Proposition 65.

That means the Centers for Environmental Health has reached a legal agreement with these manufacturers and is binding only in California, however CEH says, “We expect the companies will stop making and selling products with Cocamide DEA nationwide.”

But that doesn’t mean you won’t find an older product with Cocamide DEA in it still on store shelves.

So how worried should we really be?  Dr. Joseph Thundiyil of MD Anderson in Orlando said Cocamide DEA is only rated as a “possible carcinogen” under the International Agency on Research for Cancer.

“We have a lot of other things to worry about that are known and probable carcinogens, I would focus your energy on those because we know those cause cancer and have link to cancer,” Thundiyil said.

While Cocamide DEA has been found to cause cancer in animals the question remains will it surface in humans. Thundiyial says you can always use the precautionary principal.

“Sometimes if we are not sure its nice to have that information on the bottle so each consumer can decide for themselves,” Thundiyial said.

Marty Henry is one of those who are concerned about the research findings.

“We have a son who has been fighting cancer for seven years. We would definitely not consider a shampoo with anything risky in it,” Henry said.

According to Thundiyal, if you are concerned the international agency on research for cancer or IARC has a complete list of known and probable carcinogens.