Methylisothiazolinone


Methylisothiazolinone (MIT) is a preservative used in personal care products to stop fungus, bacteria and other microbes from growing in water solutions. It helps maintain product quality and performance over time.

Background

Following concerns that have been raised about the use of paraben in personal care products (ie. shampoos, skin care products, makeup,...) methylisothiazolinone (MIT) has become the preservative of choice of many industries to prevent the growth of microorganisms (bacteria, germs…) in their products. This substance doesn’t require a large quantity in order to be effective and Health Canada allows its use in cosmetic products up to 100 ppm (0.01%). 

Some people raise concerns about preservatives, because a small number of individuals have allergies to them, just as some people have allergies to nuts or bees. But preservatives play a very important role in food, cosmetics and household products. Without preservatives, many products would not last more than a week or two before being contaminated by bacteria, mold or yeast; the anti-bacterial protection becomes insufficient. 

The symptoms of the allergy are not severe and usually cause a type of contact dermatitis.

The Use of Methylisothiazolinone at Dustbane

For the safety of the end user, we feel the best choice is to add preservatives in the smallest effective quantity to protect our products. Methylisothiazolinone is present at a concentration of 7.5 ppm (0.0075%) in the following products:

  • Antiseptic Hand Soap 
  • Corsage 
  • Tradition 
  • Tradition Plus 
  • Hand & Body Shampoo 
  • Ultra Orange 
  • Polypower

Since our products are diluted when applied, then rinsed off with water, they present a lesser risk of reaction. We do believe it is important to identify the products containing this preservative so that those with allergies can make informed choices.

Methylchloroisothiazolinone & methylisothiazolinone, a preservative used in cosmetics and other household products, recently has been in the news. Preservatives are essential in almost all cosmetics to prevent the growth of microorganisms during product use and to extend the shelf-life of a product, which of course is in the consumer’s interest. The key is in the understanding of things like exposure routes and concentrations. This ingredient is used as a preservative to kill harmful microorganisms. It serves a singular purpose and that is to increase the safety of the product. The studies regarding neurotoxicity involve combining nerve cells in a petri dish with a solution of methylisothiazolinone. These types of studies are imperative for us to have a greater understanding of chemicals, but they are not at all reflective of real life exposures.


In product formulations, it’s also about alternatives assessment and overall risk assessment. We feel the best choice is to add preservatives in the smallest effective quantity to protect our products and for your safety. We stand behind the safety of our products, but we know there’s always room for improvement.


Dr. Michael Mikoluk, PhD
Technical Director, Chemical Division 


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