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Cosmetics Europe Calls for the Use of MIT to be Discontinued

December 23, 2013

The European cosmetics trade association, Cosmetics Europe, following discussions with the European Society of Contact Dermatitis (ESCD), recommends that the use of Methylisothiazolinone (MIT) in leave-on skin products including cosmetic wet wipes is discontinued.

Introduced as a cosmetic preservative in 2006, and widely used due to its broad spectrum preservation properties, MIT is routinely added to a wide range of products, including moisturizers, make-up and baby wipes, to prevent growth of bacteria and yeasts. However, the dermatology community has now linked MIT to a steep rise in allergies known as contact dermatitis, where the skin becomes red and itchy and can sting and blister.

While dermatologists expect an allergic reaction to a cosmetic product of no more than one to two percent, British clinics have reported that the rate for MIT has risen to more than 10 percent.


Why It Matters
Following analysis of clinical data, market feedback and Quantitative Risk Assessment analysis, Cosmetics Europe concluded that the discontinuation of MIT use in leave-on skin products including cosmetic wet wipes would result in a significant decrease in the incidence of sensitization to this ingredient.

Cosmetics Europe has now asked its members to remove MIT from their products that are left on the skin as soon as is feasible, and that companies do not wait for regulatory intervention under the Cosmetics Regulation. This action is recommended in the interests of consumer safety in relation to adverse skin reactions due to MIT.

MIT has been reported as being more than twice as harmful as methyldibromo glutaronitrile (MDBGN), which was banned by the European Commission in 2008.

How UL Can Help
UL's laboratories perform analytical, microbiological, physical and performance testing for a wide range of personal care and beauty categories including cosmetics, hair and skin care, baby products, and dental care.

For more information, click Contact UL at the top of the page and a UL representative will follow up with you soon.