April 25, 2011 – A common chemical found in bath products, shampoos and other personal care products is cocamidopropyl betaine. It is used as a foam booster, as an antistatic agent, as a cleansing agent and as a skin conditioning agent. It is also toxic and can cause allergic reactions.
Cocamidopropyl Betaine or Coco Betaine, in Shampoo, Soaps and Bubble Bath
Cocamidopropyl Betaine is also known as Coco-betaine. It is used as a cleansing agent and promotes lathering and foaming. It is often found in shampoos, soaps, bubble baths, dish soaps and any other cleaning agents.
Health Risks of Coamidopropyl betaine or coco-betaine
This chemical is known to cause irritation of the skin, eyes, and lungs. It is also suspected to be harmful to the environment. Under high temperatures and acidic conditions, it can also produce nitrosamines (carcinogenic compounds).
The American Contact Dermatitis Society named cocamidylpropyl betaine Allergen of the Year in 2004.
Products Containing Cocamidopropyl Betaine or Coco-Betaine
Many commercial products contain toxic chemicals, so it’s best to read the labels and do some research. Products known to contain this chemical are:
- Avalon Organics (yeah, don’t let the word “organics” fool you! It’s
just a word.)
- Physicians Formula
- Maggie Blue
- Essence of Wellbeing
- Aura Cacia
- Kiss My Face
- Burts Bees
Burts Bees as a Natural Product and Safety Levels
I’ve been asked countless time, “Is Burt’s Bees” a safe and natural option. The answer to that is “it depends”.
Some of Burt’s Bees products are ok, they contain safe ingredients and no known toxic chemicals. However, items like their bubble baths do have coco-betaine listed on their labels which can cause irritation of the skin, eyes and lungs.
Burt’s Bees biggest con is their use of “fragrance/parfum”. Most of their products contain synthetic fragrances which we know cause allergies and sensitivities and are composed of countless chemicals in their chemical makeup. They often contain phthalates which have a slew of health concerns.
My advice to all consumers is “read the labels”! If you aren’t sure about an ingredient or two – look them up! Just because a product says “natural” or “organic” or “essential oils”, does not mean they don’t contain toxic chemicals! Chemicals go under alternate names too, so write them down, look them up and go from there. Also, just because a company has a couple of “safe” products does not mean they are all safe – so keep reading those labels!