Many stores agree to stop selling shampoo with cancer-causing chemical  |  KTVU

OAKLAND, Calif. — Most of us don’t think to look closely at the ingredients when buying shampoos. But the Center for Environmental Health in Oakland says many shampoos contain an ingredient known to cause cancer.

The consumer group announced Monday that it has reached a first of its kind agreement with Walgreens and 23 other companies to stop selling shampoos that contain

Cocamide DEA , a chemical that helps shampoo foam and thicken.

The new legal agreement is the result of the consumer group suing the companies that make or sell products with that chemical.

Caroline Cox, research director The Center for Environmental Health says federal researchers discovered that the chemical cause cancer after laboratory tests.

“I don’t think anybody should have to wash their hair with a cancer causing chemical,” said Cox.

Consumers tell KTVU their hair type determines which hair care products they use.

“When I buy, it’s usually the fragrance and what it does to my hair,” said Janice Schmidt of Alameda.

Many people say they don’t read the ingredients on the label.

“Always something, go organic,” said Lisa Moppin of Antioch.

The legal agreements announced Monday include businesses such as Walgreens, Saks, Colgate Palmolive and others that either make or sell shampoos with Cocamide DEA. These companies have agreed to stop selling those products.

It’s a move that consumers applaud.

“I lost my mom to ovarian cancer. I’d like to know what we got and what we’re using,” said Mark Gosney of Alameda.

Although the legal agreements are effective in California, supporters say consumers across the country will benefit.

“If they’re going to change their product for California, they’re going to change their product line completely so what gets sold in other states will be the same as what gets sold in California,” said Cox.

The Center for Environmental Health says it is still working on reaching agreements with one hundred more companies by the end of this year.

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