Ethanolamines: is commonly called monoethanolamine (MEA). They are clear, colourless, viscous liquids with ammonia-like odours which have the combined properties of alcohols and amines. They are widely used in many cosmetic products to help balance pH levels, as well as to act as a cleansing base.
DEA and TEA are ethanolamine compounds that can easily be found in many consumer products ranging from cosmetics (foundation, mascara, eye shadow, blush, make-up bases etc), personal care products (bubble baths, body washes, shampoos, soaps, facial cleaners and etc) and household cleaning products. Ethanolamines are ammonia compounds used in cosmetics emulsifiers or foaming agent.
Dangers of Ethanolamines: When absorbed into the body over a long period of time, it coverts to carcinogen N- nitrosodiethanolamine which is very toxic compound known to cause cancer. Even short periods of exposure can cause allergic reactions, including eye problems, dry hair and skin.
What to Look for on the Label: Triethanolamine, diethanolamine, DEA, TEA, cocamide DEA, cocamide MEA, DEA-cetyl phosphate, DEA oleth-3 phosphate, lauramide DEA, linoleamide MEA, myristamide DEA, oleamide DEA, stearamide MEA, TEA-lauryl sulfate