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MIT Preservative in Personal Care Products

A recent article, “A mystery rash on a woman’s hands and lips stumped specialists” in the Washington Post has intrigued us with the discussion of an antimicrobial preservative methylisothiazolinone, also known as MI or MIT.

MIT has been used in personal care products as an effective antifungal preservative for years.  However, as the article points out, concerns are being raised due to the potential for an allergic reaction or irritation in some people.

MI is a member of a class of preservatives known generally as isothiazolinones that are broadly used for their antibacterial and antifungal properties.  Use of other isothiazolinones; in addition to MIT, are also known to potentially lead to allergic reactions such as rashes as cited in the article.

For products containing MIT or related preservatives, there are ways of reformulation to reduce the amount of the preservative, or possibly eliminate the need of its use altogether.

Many products containing MIT have been used by consumers problem-free, but as described in the article, some consumers may have reactions to MIT that call its use into question.

For such antimicrobials, a better long term solution could be the substitution of the antimicrobials with equally effective preservatives that avoid issues associated with skin irritations or allergic reactions.

As a lab experienced with personal care product testing and chemical formulations, we can work with manufacturers to formulate preservatives that can potentially serve as replacements for those that are perceived to pose risks to consumers.

As challenging as this situation may be for manufacturers and consumers alike, it’s one that can be efficiently and effectively addressed through valid scientific testing.

For more information, call the lab at 847-483-9950 or info@situtest.com.