Cocamide DEA, or cocamide diethanolamine, is a diethanolamide made by reacting the mixture of fatty acids from coconut oils with diethanolamine. It is a viscous liquid and is used as a foaming agent in bath products like shampoos and hand soaps, and in cosmetics as an emulsifying agent. See cocamide for the discussion of the lengths of carbon chains in the molecules in the mixture. The chemical formula is CH3(CH2)nC(=O)N(CH2CH2OH)2, where n can vary depending on the source of fatty acids.
The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) lists coconut oil diethanolamine condensate (cocamide DEA) as an IARC Group 2B carcinogen, which identifies this chemical as possibly carcinogenic to humans.
In June 2012, the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment added Cocamide DEA to the California Proposition 65 (1986) list of chemicals known to cause cancer, and in September 2013, the Center for Environmental Health (CEH) launched a Californian lawsuit against four companies that it alleged to be selling shampoo and soap products containing it.
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- "Chemicals Listed Effective June 22, 2012 As Known To The State Of California To Cause Cancer: benzophenone (CAS No. 119-61-9), coconut oil diethanolamine condensate (cocamide diethanolamine) (CAS No. 68603-42-9), diethanolamine (CAS No. 111-42-2), and 2-methylimidazole (CAS No. 693-98-1)". Retrieved 2012-06-22.
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- Jack, Schatz (April 15, 2011). "Cosmetic Makers Challenge Proposed Listing of Cocamide DEA". Prop 65 News. Retrieved 2 May 2014.