Return to Epstein's Page

<--Return to Cancer Prevention Coalition Page

Prevention Coalition Press Release, July, 2002 


Tough standards are essential for phasing out diethanolamine 
(DEA) from cosmetics and toiletries.

In a petition to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) 
previously released, the Cancer Prevention Coalition (CPC) urged 
the labeling or phasing out of DEA in cosmetic products. DEA is a 
precursor of nitrosodiethanolamine (NDEA), a proven carcinogen as 
recognized by four Federal agencies and institutions and the World 
Health Organization. The proposed label would read, "Caution - 
This product may contain N-nitrosodiethanolamine, a known cancer-
causing agent."

DEA-based detergents are widely used in shampoos, lotions 
and creams. Since 1976, workers exposed to NDEA in metal working 
fluids, at levels similar to those in cosmetics, have been warned 
of cancer risks and steps are taken to protect them.

Aubrey Hampton, founder of Aubrey Organics, noted that DEA 
is not an essential ingredient in hair and skin care products. 
There are natural, safe and effective alternatives to DEA that 
pose no financial hardship for the manufacturer or the consumer"

In 1979, the FDA urged the cosmetics industry to 
take "immediate action to eliminate" NDEA in cosmetics. However, 
the FDA has taken no subsequent action while industry remains 
unresponsive. In striking contrast, the EEC has sharply reduced 
permissible uses of DEA. German cosmetic industry has also 
resolved this problem by phasing out DEA detergents, thereby 
preventing the formation of NDEA

Dr. William Lijinksy, leading international nitrosamine 
researcher, emphasized, 'The continued use of DEA is unacceptable 
especially in view of the overwhelming scientific evidence of its 
cancer risks and the availability of safe alternatives."

Samuel S. Epstein, M.D., professor of environmental and 
occupational medicine at the University of Illinois School of 
Public Health and chairman of the Cancer Prevention Coalition said 
that, "Faced with escalating cancer rates, the FDA and other 
health agencies should take overdue action to reduce avoidable 
exposures to carcinogens. NDEA in cosmetics, used by many million 
consumers for many decades, is a prime example of such an 
avoidable carcinogen.


Los Angeles Cancer Prevention Coalition Director

Shelley Kramer, 310 457 5176

My favorite company -safe products

                                                                                                                                                                                                           top of page

Copyright Telephone: 310-457-5176 or 888-377-8877 | Fax: 877-885-4657

For General Information:

Webmaster for Shelley R. Kramer