These toxic ingredients are used as a ph stabilizer, corrosion inhibitor, and emulsifiers. They are clear, colorless, viscous liquids with ammonia-like odors and have the combined properties of alcohols and amines. Ethanolamines help water-soluble and oil-soluble ingredients blend together. You'll find them in products that foam, including bubble baths, body washes, shampoos, soaps, facial cleaners and a vast variety of cleaning products. They’re also found in eyeliners, mascara, eye shadows, blush, make-up bases and foundations, fragrances, hair care products, hair dyes, shaving products, and sunscreens. Does anyone else wonder why one of the main ingredients in cleaners is also present in your cosmetics and lotions?



The Material Safety Data Sheet for ethanolamine notes that skin contact may be harmful, and that the material can produce chemical burns and may cause inflammation. Prolonged exposure can result in liver, kidney or nervous system injury. The sheet also notes that animal studies with DEA and MEA have shown a tendency for these chemicals to encourage the formation of tumors and to cause developmental abnormalities to an unborn fetus. According to the FDA, the National Toxicology Program (NTP) completed a study in 1998 that found an association between the topical application of DEA and certain DEA-related ingredients and cancer in laboratory animals.