Does shampoo cause cancer?

We use shampoo in our everyday life. “Dove,” “Head & Shoulders,” “Suave…” There are over 10 categories of different shampoo, but often times we’d use shampoo without investigating what we’re actually putting on our head. 

Photo credit: bustle.com

Cocamide diethanolamine, or cocamide DEA, is a kind of emulsifying agent used in the making of shampoo products. According to the IARC (International Agency for Research on Cancer), cocamide DEA is an IARC Group 2B carcinogen, which means it has the potential of causing cancer. 

However, the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) has declared that there is no need to worry. In a document that gets updated only when needed, and hasn’t been updated since the March of 2018, it says “FDA believes that at the present time there is no reason for consumers to be alarmed based on the use of these substances in cosmetics” because the NTP‘s (National Toxicology Program) study result in 1998 didn’t find a connection between DEA and cancer. Plus, if the customers still want to avoid using carcinogen-related products, they can do it simply by “reviewing the ingredient statement that is required to appear on the outer container label.” 

So, it would be overreacting to panic. Nevertheless, checking the ingredient statement of the products that we eat, use, spray, and wash with, is indeed important. We use shampoo everyday, but do you check what you use, everyday?

Photo credit: goodhousekeeping.com

Why Do We Relay?

It’s 10:01 pm. Kai, Lucy, and myself are walking on the desert red track at Buena High School. While the senior Lacrosse players have only just arrived, Lucy and I have been walking, dancing, and celebrating for 13 hours. But, we still have 11 more to go.

It started with the survivor lap and when our beloved John Valenzuela circled to the first strait-a-way an eruption of applause broke out from our booth. And as he smiled and put his hand to his heart in appreciation tears began to fall. Mr. V is our survivor.

Then there was wedding. A 5 year survivor was given the chance to marry the love of his life. Tons of ladies in dresses joined in and led the bride’s path to the alter. As they exchanged vows hearts were lifted in the celebration of their chance to live a long life of happiness. He is her survivor.

After numerous laps honoring cowboys, the 80’s, and siamese twins there came the luminaria ceremony. Hundreds of lights shined representing the battles fought by millions. As the names of the lost and the loved showed on the big screen yet more tears came. We sat in silence.

For some the walk is for their mothers and sisters. For others it is for their sons and daughters. For me the walk is for my great aunt, my great grandmother, and my mom’s sister who is a childhood cancer survivor. If you were there you knew who the relay was for. For Dad, for a 13 month old baby girl, for Krista.

Relay for Life is not just a fund raiser for cancer research. It’s a celebration. It’s not a time to grieve but a time to give respect and celebrate life.

OVS relayed for Mr. V and celebrated and continue to celebrate his life. A life that he was given a second chance to live, alongside so many other lives because of the support of their family and community. We relayed. We walked. We celebrated. We fought.