Ingredient Watch List: Methylisothiazolinone, the Toxic Ingredient That Could Cause Nerve Damage

Man helping himself to a dollop of antibacterial soap, close up of hands

Also called MIT, this ingredient is often found in antibacterial products.

Unlike some synthetic chemicals, however, this one isn't just a mild skin irritant. A recent study found the chemical may actually be linked to nerve damage, and it's also known to be toxic in several other ways.

Let's figure out how to avoid this one!

What is MIT?

This ingredient is a powerful biocide. That means it's a chemical substance that can control or kill harmful microorganisms. It works well as a preservative in products like shampoo and body care products, helping them to last a long time on the shelf and in your bathroom cabinets without becoming contaminated with unwanted bugs, bacteria, and fungi.

MIT belongs to a group of similar compounds called “isothiazolinones,” which also include the following chemicals:

  • Chloromethylisothiazolinone (CMIT)
  • Benzisothiazolinone (BIT)
  • Octylisothiazolinone (OIT)
  • Dichlorooctylisothiazolinone (DCOIT)

You'll find MIT and chemicals like it at low concentrations in “rinse-off” products like shampoos, conditioners, hair colors, body washes, laundry detergents, liquid hand soaps, bubble bath, hand dishwashing soaps, and shampoo/conditioner combinations.

What are the Concerns?

The biggest concern with this ingredient came to light when researchers conducted two recent laboratory studies on rat brain cells, and found that MIT caused damage to those cells. The researchers stated, “a brief exposure to methylisothiazolinone, a widely used industrial and household biocide, is highly toxic to cultured neurons….” The scientists went on to state that these toxic effects had been reported previously, and because of their widespread use, the consequences of chronic human exposure need to be evaluated. What was most concerning about this study was that the exposure was only 10 minutes long.

What did the cosmetic industry say about this? The Cosmetic, Toiletry, and Fragrance Association (CFTA) issued a response stating that MIT is safe as it is used in cosmetic formulas because the exposure is so low. Indeed, in 2004, the European Scientific Committee on Cosmetic Products and Non-Food Products Intended for Consumers (SCCNFP) suggested that companies limit the maximum concentration of MIT to 0.01 percent, or 100 parts per million (ppm). U.S. companies, however, are not required to follow this guideline.

Other Concerns

Another study found that exposure to MIT caused dermatitis, while a recent 2012 study found that brief exposure to MIT is toxic in low concentrations during neural development, increasing the risk of seizures and visual abnormalities. “Our findings,” stated the researchers, “combined with the fact that the long-term neurological impacts of environmental exposure to MIT have not been determined, suggest a need for a closer evaluation of the safety of MIT in commercial and industrial products.”

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) also states that MIT is a skin sensitizer and irritant, which means that it can cause contact allergies.

Bottom Line

Cosmetic companies defend their use of this ingredient by stating that they use very low amounts, at around 15 ppm. They further claim that because the ingredient is in “rinse-off” products, any dangerous or toxic effects are washed down the drain. Meanwhile, you have a bacteria-free formula that lasts a long time on your shelf.

I don't know about you, but that doesn't really make me feel any better about using this stuff. The scientists themselves are saying we need more research to determine safety—in my book, that means, “stay away until we know more!”

Here's another quote from the first neurotoxic study I mentioned:

“Unfortunately, we have little or no information about the potential negative impact on the brain for many commonly used substances….The long-term consequences of low-level chronic exposure to isothiazolinones on the central nervous system have not been investigated.”

Besides, we don't need these toxic, skin damaging preservatives in our products.

Discover some of our favorite organic products with our most popular list!

Do you avoid MIT in your products?

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Photo courtesy Naturally You Skin Care via

Shen Du, et al., “In Vitro Neurotoxicity of Methylisothiazolinone, a Commonly Used Industrial and Household Biocide, Proceeds via a Zinc and Extracellular Signal-Regulated Kinase Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase-Dependent Pathway,” Journal of Neuroscience, September 1, 2002, 22(17): 7408-7416,

Spawn A, et al., “Abnormal visual processing and increased seizure susceptibility result from developmental exposure to the biocide methylisothiazolinone,” Neuroscience, 2012 March 15;205:194-204,

comments (133 and counting)


Reader Interactions


  1. Debbie says

    About 2006 I used flushable wipes frequently. A year later, I had a horrible rash on my bottom. My doctor told me I wasn’t cleaning myself properly. When I went back to her, I was told it was to dry, next I was to wet. The peeling and itching was intolerable and went on for over a year. Then I developed rashes on my neck, hands, arms and legs. Another doctor said it was eczema but refused to take a culture. My husband heard on the radio about several people with similar symptoms and it was a reaction to MI in the flushable products. I stopped using any product that contained MIT. It took 6 months to clear the rashes. I’ve listed MIT as an allergy on my health records. Just last month during a medical procedure, the nurse then the surgeon asked what it was. The medical community needs to track and document the symptoms and number of people affected. Why isn’t this happening? This dangerous biocide is even in baby products.

  2. Yael says

    I developed a severe allergy to this after, or maybe as part of, an SJS reaction to other, Rx “-azoles” and really, any anti-fungals. Please take this topic very seriously, scan ingredients in everything you use, and educate yourself and others on Stevens Johnson Syndrome.

  3. Yaya says

    Why are we pretending this ingredient is only in antibacterial soaps? It is very hard to find any soaps or shampoos without this poison in it.

  4. Trace says

    Something to consider that I just realized today while looking up info on MI, is that it is also used in a lot of our dish washing soaps & detergents; which we all drink and eat from our dishes. Lord only knows how much we could be ingesting over time as I believe this may be linked to leaky gut syndrome and other gut related issues. I could be wrong, but thought I would post. Hope this may be helpful.

  5. Lisa Allis says

    Yes!!! This is on my list from my dermatologist as a known allergen that I have. Within a few hours, my hands erupt into painful blisters. My hands crack, bleed causing me tremendous pain.

  6. Yvette says

    I’ve been using flushable wipes for years. About 3 months ago I thought I had a yeast infection. I’ve never had 1 before. The itching was so severe. I went to the doctor and she told me my culture came back fine. After looking into causes for the itching and pain around my vulva, I’m almost certain it’s nerve pain. I’ve stopped using the wipes for a week. I’ve read it could take up to a month to feel a difference

    • Sabrina says

      Hey Yvette, just a student nurse here to share some info that you might not have known about. Try your best to not use anything down there unless prescribed by your doctor. A normal healthy vagina has an acidic ph balance flora that can be thrown off for various different reasons. Using a towelette wipes away that flora that keeps the vagina healthy. Education & prevention is key to maintaining health. If you want to educate yourself then make sure to use credible sources like medscape. Good luck

  7. Leigh says

    I, too, had a patch test after severe eye problems. MIT was an irritant for me along with paraben, proplis, cobalt chloride, glyceryl thioglycolate and glutaraldehyde. ALL in products uses around the house. I dumped all products I had been using (some well known, expensive body creams) and use only what is on my list including toothpastes. Vinegar, baking soda and other products that do not have these ingredients in them is what I use now. I don’t even use soap in public bathrooms because I don’t know what is in them.

  8. Glenn says

    I have switched my body wash, shampoo, and conditioner to brands that do not include MIT or any of its relatives. One thing we do not need is a substance with neurotoxic properties being used on our scalps which is right next to our brain. I’m guessing the rise in brain cancer over the last 50 years may be attributed in part to exposure to MIT. Studies in the next few years should hopefully shed more light on the effects of this chemical. Otherwise, I would steer clear. Just read the labels before you buy any liquids, cream or lotions you put on your skin or head.

  9. Ginger says

    I am not sure if one or both of the following points were mentioned in the article above, but I read a newspaper article from the UK that was written in 2017 that said that
    1) the EU has already banned methylisothiazolinone from leave-on products (for example, skin lotions and cosmetics), and
    2) starting sometime in 2018, EU regulations will come into force that will require such a low maximum of methylisothiazolinone to be in rinse-off products (for example, shampoos and laundry detergents) that most producers won’t even want to put MI in their rinse-off products because the low maximum level will not be enough to allow it to function as a reliable preservative.
    Therefore, I wonder if people living in the US might be able to import personal care products that are made for sale in the European Union (manufactured in 2018 and beyond, so that they will have to fulfill both of the regulations described above) and thereby avoid methylisothiazolinone?
    I have read that certain international brands have MI in their American products but not in their British products (such as Ecover laundry detergent).

  10. Mary S says

    I saw a post in Branch Basics and now here. It’s in my dishwashing liquid that I thought was a safe brand. I wonder if the issues with my skin under my eyes are coming from this? Jeez! It never ends. I thought I had everything cleared out of my house. Now I’ll look at the automatic dishwasher detergent and my laundry detergent. I may have to go back to making my own again. 🙁 Thanks for sharing this!

    • says

      Hi, may I ask what kind of troubles you have under your eyes? I ask because that’s one of my trouble spots; another is my eye lids. I get dry itchy painful tiny patches on the eyelids, and underneath it’s dry and wrinkly (not what I’m going for at 54). Anyway, I hope you’re not suffering too much. I found being diligent the only way to go.
      Take care.

  11. Jmh says

    I underwent allergy testing because of continual body rashes. Was allergic to this and quarternium-15 and some other formaldehyde releasers, which was in my new, reformulated body lotion.

  12. Tom Kretzmer says

    I developed a severe sensitivity to this preservative, to the point where if I touch a handle used by someone who used soap with this preservative, I develop deep painful blisters that linger for weeks where that contact occurred. Took me years to figure out that these chemicals were causing it. For those without the allergy, it’s a superb preservative. But for those of us who have become allergic, it’s as if half the world is covered in poison ivy.

  13. Bernice Sachiko says

    My Dove product got this ingredient. I think I won’t use this product ever again. No wonder it feels weird why the skin on my neck tend to be more itchy, irritated and sensitized than usual to actually trigger Eczema. ????

  14. Jasmine says

    I had been using Ecos laundry soap, I have sensitive skin so I thought it was safe as it was marketed as “safe and clear”. NOPE. It contains Methylisothiazolinone as a preservative. Highly toxic and not safe, the brand even has some law suits against them because of this unsafe ingredient being used in their products and still being marketed as a natural safe product. For over a year, thousands of dollars, nearly 10 doctors later, and all natural remedies I could think of… I finally went to the store and purchased a package of new panties and the irritation went away.. finally.. just to find out all my underwear I had washed previously was forever contaminated and I had to toss them all out. My washer is even contaminated as I tried washing some of my new underwear in my washer but with castile soap I had been handwashing my new underwear with, and the irritation returned. Tonight I will be repurchasing new underwear and for the rest of my life be handwashing my underwear and clothes line drying them. I’m horrified that such harmful chemicals are allowed in todays products. simply devastated.

  15. Linda says

    I used Baby Wipes and cleansing wipes with MIT in. I developed a red, very painful burning rash on my face and my eyes were so swollen they were almost closed. It took me a year to work out what was doing it .The only Baby wipes available without chemicals, that I can find, are’ Water Wipes, ‘ (from Boots) contain only water and fruit juice. Since this ,every now and again if I get a burning sensation 9/10 times the product contains MIT. I now buy all my products from ‘Honesty’ a company who’s products are all Paraben free -.Bit more expensive but not much. for example shampoo costs £6.50 for a good sized bottle. I now read every label before I buy.

  16. Lisa says

    I MUST avoid these products!!! With rashes covering my entire body. Patch testing revealed this evil chemical as the culprit. Still trying to crawl out of the hole my life has become 6 months later. Please, please, please avoid—i don’t wish this on anyone.

  17. Carmen Fischer says

    My daughter broke out in a horrible rash after using Molton Brown Body wash gel that contained this preservative. It was everywhere except her face. The only place she didn’t use the product. After during some research I discovered others had rashes due to this chemical in this body wash.

  18. Michelle says

    I am so disgusted with these companies that think they can get away with this. There are over 1,100 chemicals banned in other countries that we’re still using.

    I recently found a green online shopping club that has over 400 products… Because of their huge customer base and because they are the manufacturer, I’m paying less overall and they’re delivered to my door!

    now i feel good knowing I’m not buying toxic products and I’m keeping my family safe here in our home.

    • Cora says

      I have sensitivity to any product that contains sulfur, sulfites and sulfates. All these MI and related compounds are chemically combined with sulfur. I’ve been to my doctor thinking my skin sensitivity was due to my maintenance meds, she had been changing my meds. Then she finally told me to change my shampoo, head and shoulder. Then my cousin suggested to use apple cider vinegar in water to relieve me. The sensitivities had stopped for a week and I’m using Burt’s Bees Baby shampoo and wash. So far so good.. I checked the ingredients and it does not say about the MI. I’m definitely changing all the stuff I have in the house that contains that forbidden stuff.

  19. Meg says

    I recently started getting more interested in skin care and have been looking up ingredients. I noticed this was in a hand cream and after reading that methylisothiazolinone is potentially toxic and best in rinse-off products I decided I would not buy that hand cream again. But after realising how many rinse-off products contain methylisothiazolinone, I figured a huge amount must be rinsed down the drain and enter our ecosystems every year. Now I have decided I will steer clear of products containing methylisothiazolinone and all of the other -isothiazolinones altogether. Thanks for this informative post!

  20. Elizabeth gay says

    My sensitive skin reacted very badly to methylisothiazolinone. Eventually I traced the problem to the Eco laundry product that I was using. Bed clothes such as sheets are in contact with the skin all night. I had an allergic rash all over my back. I found that a product called EMUAID was a great help and once the rash subsided I used coconut oil to restore the skin to health.
    Watch out for this chemical, it is in so many products and labelled in very small print, if at all..

  21. Angela says

    I have had methylisothiazolinone allergics reactions. It was at biomiracle makeup cleansing towelettes and Neutrogena healthy skin , liquid makeup. That is incredibly because those products say they are “hypoallergenic” and “healthy”.

  22. margaret lupton says

    does simple wipes from unilever brand contain meththylisothiazolinone or methycloroidothiazoline or has it been added recently.m lupton.

  23. Norman johnston says

    This product was given as a present in 2015 and have just used it this year wish I had never seen it as after a bath I was covered with red rough blotches below the waist. It was some time after through eliminations I discovered the culprit was the bubble bath. Label was all written in polish and when I put methylisothiazolinone into my iPad and seen the report regarding this product I couldn’t understand why this product was still being used after various creams it is now gradually disappearing but I am furious that I used this toxic product with no warning on the bottle

  24. Suzanne says

    I could almost write a book on this chemical allergy! I have a sever allergy to it and another chemical. It took finding the right doctor that too the time to help me. Mine was not from wipes but from lipstick, moisturizers and so MUCH more. It in so many thing but most commonly in wipes. Please be away it is also known as CI=Isothiazolione, Kathon, Kathon CG, Kathon 886, MCI, and MI . In in 2014 this chemical AND Colophony, also found in MANY MANY products were the new emerging allergies of the year. This past Memorial Day weekend I ended up in the emergency room from a severe reaction to sun screen. It is very painful and the more times you are exposed the worse the reaction. Please feel free to share this post and help protect yourself and children.

  25. Kristen says

    I only use “natural” products. This doesn’t seem to mean anything when it comes to Methylisothiazolinone (MI). I was diagnosed last year with an allergy to MI and nickel by an allergist after I came down with itchy, red, sore spots on my face, eyebrows and hands. At first the doctors had told me I washed my hands too often. Then they told me I might have lupus. Then an allergist did a skin test and told me that I was allergic to MI and that this was an epidemic allergy. It was in the Trader Joe’s lotion I had been using everyday for years. And it was in our Seventh Generation laundry detergent, dish soap, spray cleaner, etc. It is a common synthetic preservative in so-called “natural” products.

    I got rid of all of those products, but still have a hard time finding products that don’t have it. I now use Planet dish washing liquid and Planet laundry powder (but the Planet laundry liquid has it!), and I use Greenshield Organic spray cleaners. I haven’t found a good lotion or consistent hair conditioner, etc. But even my son’s school uses soap with MI (Dr. Bronner’s) and I can’t even share a hand towel with him or touch his hands immediately after school.

    I have tried every kind of moisturizer, including plain olive oil and coconut oil, but nothing helps my finger. The red, itchy, horrible rash centers on the right, middle finger and spreads out from there now. The finger is now swollen larger than the other fingers as of a few months ago. The rash is no longer on my face, but occasionally my eyebrows itch and sometimes there is a new patch on my forehead or leg.

    I really don’t know how to stop it or to fix it. I can’t seem to clear it up all the way no matter what I do. It hurts, it itches and it looks terrible.

  26. Rebekah baharestan says

    see Facebook public group for more people severely affected by isothiazolinones. ‘Allergy to Isothiazolinone, Methylisothiazolinone and Benzisothiazolinone’ . There are product discussions for assistance finding safe products free from isothiazoilnones as well as discussions on products that have caused severe reactions containing isothiazolinones . ( see files section) Cosmetics products : the two isothiazolinones currently approved the US used in cosmetics are : Methylisothiazolinone ( MI /MIT ) and Methychloroisothiazolinone ( MCI/ CMIT) only.( MI and MCI have been banned from future formulated leave-on products in the EU effective year 2017. The additional isothiazolinones : Benzisothiazolinone ( BIT) and Octylisothiazolinone (OIT) are also found in cleaning and household as well as automotive and latex paint type products along with MI /MIT and MCI /MCIT

  27. Rebekah baharestan says

    see Facebook public group for more people severely affected by isothiazolinones. ‘Allergy to Isothiazolinone, Methylisothiazolinone and Benzisothiazolinone’

  28. Jill says

    I found out that many household paints (Behr among many) including low toxicity “green” paints, most markers and children’s craft paints also contain MIT. My daughter is allergic and her hands are still affected because of the school art supplies. The ACDS CAMP website is a great resource for cleaning supplies and cosmetics if you’ve been patch tested. Your contact dermatologist can give you access codes. But for things like paint and inks, contact the manufacturers.

  29. Lolly says

    I recently discovered the hard way that Trader Joe’s has changed the formula for its unscented hand lotion. It now contains MIT.

    Other products do not, but be sure to periodically check so you don’t learn the hard way like I did.

  30. Julie says

    I have MIT allergy and for the most part, I’m able to avoid products containing this evil stuff. Recently however, I was having a rash in my armpits and private areas, as though I had used a baby wipe containing this stuff, but I knew I didn’t because I’m very careful. Long story short, the culprit was DRYING PAINT on the walls of my apartment! Even though it was “dry” for three weeks, it was still causing my horrible symptoms. As soon as I’ve moved to sleeping in a different part of the apartment that doesn’t have drying paint, my symptoms have all disappeared! I still can’t believe that inhaling the molecules was causing me contact dermatitis-like symptoms.

  31. Margaret says

    have been using an anticiotic hand soap to remove the conditioner that I use after shampooing my hair, I rinse it off and then put my own conditioner on called Aussie. It has worked very well until lately as late as a week ago I rboke out with a very bad rash on my back. I went to the dr. and he thought it might be something from outside workin the yard.
    I was on a strong steroid to get rid of the rash. I became alergic to the steroid and had to stop within 2 days.
    I don’t know if washing my hair with the hand soap was the cause.

  32. Kelly says

    I have recently become aware of these chemicals due to a severe reaction, my neck is extremely red raw and itchy. My face it dry and cracked and all from using inecto hair conditioner, the product is suppose to be natural Ingredients. Lesson learnt!

  33. Hailwy says

    After reading a book by Paula Begoun, I have avoided many skin care products and hair products because so many of them contain “bad” ingredients. I find it funny how so many companies put “paraben-free” or “alcohol free”, “sulfate-free” and yet it’s quite rare (in Alberta, Canada at least) to find products that are fragrance free. And yet that is a skin irritant. Supposedly it’s not the worst thing ever as long as it’s in a wash off product, like cleanser or shampoo and such, but a lot of non wash out products have it as an ingredient. I always thought Lush was quite good for products, but almost everything has fragrance in it, I don’t those are “natural fragrances” either. But anyway, my current shampoo has Methyl…. I’m not going to bother spelling it, in it and I thought maybe it was safe. But I am going to finally try Paula’s Choice shampoo and conditioner. They are $16 each but they have nothing harmful in them. Well, I should be honest, some of her products have parabens but according to her research they aren’t harmful in the amounts used. And I have decent skin for having combo skin so I personally trust her.

  34. SkinOnFire says

    Used Trader Joe’s “All Natural” moisturizer blend for years when, suddenly, my skin all over my body began to burn, like someone had bathed me in acid. Turns out me they had suddenly decided to add MIT to their product, which is anything but “natural”.

    Broke out in blisters within minutes, despite rinsing myself in the shower as quickly as I was able. The blisters, over the course of a few days, became infected, due to scratching while sleeping, and I was forced onto antibiotics due to the resulting bacterial infiltration.

    The doc recommended Eucerin for future skin health. Ignored her and got colloidal oatmeal. Used that for several weeks and cleared up my skin. Ran out and, at the drug store, saw the Eucerin. (Didn’t know at that point that it was the MIT…just knew that I was suddenly not ok with my old brand, which was full of herbs and fliowers, all potential allergens.)

    Well, you can guess that my old brand with the new ingredient and the Eucerin had exactly one ingredient in common: MIT. That is the sole commonality between the two brands. So, here I sit, once again covered in fire and blisters, thanks to this awful chemical creation.

    • Lolly says

      Yep, I just bought a new bottle of Trader Joe’s lotion. I’ve been using it for years as it was a lotion that formerly didn’t contain MIT.

      I used it last night and this morning my hands were very angry. I looked at the ingredients bottle and there it was: METHYLCHLOROISOTHIAZOLINONE.

      Thanks a lot, Trader Joe’s.

      • Nancy says

        Traders Joe’s is a German based company.Don’t use their Tree Tea Tingle either. My hair is everywhere. The poison was in my shampoos and conditioners- Wen Double death. I can’t sue because I am labeled Post Menopausal. The new Wen Conditioner doesn’t have the ingredients in it. This is an admittance that the old Wen was poison and now not in the new product.

  35. Mike R says

    I had suffered for over a year to extreme dermatitis on my hands within 3 months of my son’s birth. I had no idea of what was causing it and neither did my dermatologist. Only after trying every steroidal crème and lotion available did my allergist suggest I get tested for household products. I was tested for three days and had an extreme reaction to MIT and similar compounds. The problem is that MIT is not readily labeled on most soaps. A quick search of the internet provided a list of almost every product I used at home and the wipes I used on my son to wipe him between diapers. As long as I avoid products containing this harmful chemical my hands stay clear. You always have to carry your own soap with you for use in bathrooms when you have this allergy. Companies need to remove this from the mainstream products!

  36. Paul C says

    I became sensitised to MCIT and MIT back in 2003 at the Printing company I worked for. The chemical was abundant in the water solutions used for the printing process. I started with symmetrical weals on both arms, then it moved to my neck then my shoulders and face. In the end I had to leave the company and find new work where I was in a clean office environment.
    Being sensitised ‘Systemic allergic contact dermatitis’ also means that other situations such as dust, paint also can flare up the initial rashes. I have found ‘Fucibet’ cream really works on reducing the rashes. Just recently I had my ceiling painted in my bedroom. Even though the bed had been covered, paint vapour must have got to my bedsheets and I have now flared up on my arms and shoulders almost immediately, it’s also on my legs. It is sometime difficult to completely avoid where these -isothiazolinone chemicals may be hiding, even in paints which offer ‘anti microbial action’ for prevention of mildew e.g. Or as recently discovered shampoos in hotels all have MIT. I will now be visiting the doctor to pick up a course of Prednisolone which in the past has cleared up my reactions within 24hours, also FUCIBET cream which calms the rashes and weals down also, but do not use this on your face as it can this sling here to severely.
    Clearly I will be washing my bedclothes also, with powder/softener being used in half measures and avoidance of the frequently used chemical benzo-isothiazolinone.

    Vigilance on avoiding CMIT MIT and BIT is always a top priority, however sometimes through complacency (no reactions for long periods of time e.g.) or just pure bad luck (using product that dosent claim the ingredient is in that product e.g. Paint), will always cause a reaction at some point. Being able to retrace your steps and actions taken previously to identify where the ‘contact’ occurred is key in preventing a continued outbreak.

    Having been sensitised at the printing company has clearly changed how I live my life it appears forever. But I am not alone and unfortunately until someone stands up and makes governments wake up to what these chemicals are doing, the numbers of people sensitised will rise.

  37. chris says

    suggestion: use vinegar in your laundry to replace fabric softener. I had become sensitized to fabric softener. a friend suggested substituting a couple of small capfulls of vinegar. works wonderfully

  38. Fiona says

    Hello again, well, I just called “Nature’s Organics” and I am being given a refund (in the form of a credit in the supermarket I bought it from).

    The woman I spoke with didn’t even “blink and eyelid” when I told her, which makes me think I may not be the first person to point this out to them! Shameful negligence.

  39. Fiona says

    Thank you for your well-written article on the use and dangers of Methylisothiazolinone in cosmetics. I had an allergic reaction from this chemical, with only one exposure. It is used by an Australian company called “Nature’s Organics”.

    I bought their sorbolene cream and immediately experienced dermatitis on my hand (in my “normal” spot were this always begins). Naturally (excuse the pun) this company advertises itself as being all natural and therefore better for one’s heath than other products. There data sheet shows MIT at 0.1 levels, however, moisturiser is NOT intended to be washed off, as they well know. They are very corrupt. I did read elsewhere, that MIT has been banned now in European cosmetics and toiletries.

    I am very angry with this corrupt company (and will be telling them so), as I had no idea that this chemical could cause such serious health problems (such as you reveal here). Forget dermatitis, I rather think nerve damage is more serious. Needless to say I will be sending this product back for an immediate refund, and apology from them for not revealing important study findings: moisturiser is not washed off! So they have no “excuse” for including it (as no doubt they will be looking to foist their justifications and excuses on me!).

    Thanks again for your informed article!
    South Australia

  40. amber says

    i just had the allergy test and i am allergic to mi mic where my eyes and face swell up and i get blisters when in contact

  41. marri says

    I recently used a hair product, shampoo specifically produced by OMX,
    it left me with my scalp burning and blistering similar to burns, I ended up going to a local emergency room where I was prescribed steroids and antihistimines. over 14 days later my scalp is still red and my skin is peeling and sore to touch, thankfully I haven’t lost my hair as of yet. I used no other new products so I know it to be this only after emailing the company and doing some online research I found it has Methlchloroisothiazolinone which can cause symptoms as I described here is no warning label on the shampoo. I am currently waiting for a response from the company as I write this, if I have no response I will be seeking legal advise.

  42. Jane Schofield says

    A fellow victim of this wretched stuff, I believe I have suffered nerve damage as a result of exposure as I now have balance problems with no other identifiable cause.
    I have a self-help group on Facebook – all are welcome to join – search ‘Methylisothiazolinone Victims’ or follow the link:

  43. Mary Bennett says

    Just used Clarins rejuvenating creams (Serum and moisturiser) never again my face has erupted into a very red lumpy and itchy mask, and very sore. Both these products contain Methylisothiazolinone (MI). Should be band.

  44. Donna says

    I have been recently patch tested and isothiazolinone. Is my problem! I am just in the begining stages of trying to find my problem products. I need a laundry soap and fabric softener any ideas? I’m using the Kirkland clean and clear I know that is a problem! Help?

    • Bob says

      I found PURCELL POWEDER LAUNDERY DETERGENT doesn’t have the chemical methylisothiazolinone in it. I found out this information from the US department of health & human services website. It give a list of all products which have this preservative/chemical in it. The LIQUID VERSION OF PURCELL DOES HAVE IT IN IT, SO DON’T BUY THE LIQUID VERSION. I have an extreme contact dermatitis allergy to this chemical and was hospitalized for over 3 days and had blisters the size of dimes all over my hands. The powder version of purcell detergent, I DON’T HAVE ANY REACTION from. Hope this helps!!!

  45. Renda says

    MIT is also in some baby wipes and eye make-up remover wipes. Eye wipes caused severe itching and severe swelling all around eyes and cheecks. Baby wipes cause the same symptoms.

  46. Melissa says

    I experienced a major allergic reaction to MI. It took me about 6 months to figure it out. I switched out product after product but my face and neck kept turning red and raw like I had a burn. then my hands started getting these tiny itchy bumps…the tops of my ears were peeling and itchy. We thought maybe eczema cause of the bumps but that wasn’t it. I went on prednisone 5 times to calm down my face. finally I had a patch test done and within hours of the 40 some chemicals on my back I began to feel one spot start to itch! I wore them for two days and when they came off I had a big red welt where the MI was! I was very happy to have this answer! When I went home I went through all my cosmetics and shampoos and body wash and found that I had to throw practically everything out. Dove, Aussie, Huggies wipes for my kids, Covergirl makeup, almost every shampoo and bodywash has some form of this in it. I am also allergic to Q-15, DMDM Hydantion and Diazyldin Urea….these are all preservatives in prouduct. It has been very difficult not being able to buy just anything and having to be so careful with what I use. I never thought of fabric softner and laundry detergent until I had a flare up and couldn’t figure out what it was….I currently only use products from LUSH! they are my favorite store..all natural products pretty much…my other go to is Whole Foods Market…all organic….and I have also found many of the foods we eat can be used in our hair and on our skin…mayo, coconut oil, avacado, eggs and bakin soda….all great alternatives and cheaper too! I hope I have finally conquered my allergy…my fear is this summer finding sunscreen that I wont have a problem with!!!

  47. Laura says

    Most of your experiences seem to deal with skin symptoms, so here’s something different. This is not confirmed, but I may have just had a neural reaction to MIT.

    A friend did my hair yesterday. I was supposed to get stripes first bleached and then some of them dyed in shock colours, mostly reddish hues. On a whim, we decided to dye it all. And I was not supposed to wash my hair for about three days, to let the colour set in. Not a good idea.

    Now, I want everyone to know I have a pre-existing mild nerve condition due to slight clubfootedness, and recent adrenal fatigue syndrome. Even without these, I would definitely think twice about dyeing all my hair with these chemicals again! Individual stripes and rinse-off treatments are probably okay, just as the producers say.

    What happened was this: First I had some eye irritation and fatigue, but I marked them down to low cortisol in the morning. I was otherwise okay for about on hour after getting up. Then my boyfriend gave me a leg massage, and managed to trigger some slight nervous ticks. They hit the right hip, which is the most stressed place in my nervous system.

    After a short while things seemed to settle down. But when I tried to stand up, I couldn’t. The muscles in my right thigh refused to either stretch or contract. But the muscles were not sore to the touch. Upon closer examination I found out that my right hip was all but immobilized. The hip joint was not locked, though. Neither was the SI. It seemed like the nerves had gone into idling: Active but not moving. And the tendons and muscles with them.

    At the same time I had trouble thinking straight. This may or may not be related.

    I’ve had something remotely similar happen once before, when a doctor prescribed me Sirdalud as a muscle relaxant. It relaxed nothing! Just locked the tension into place, gave me instant depression symptoms and finally an instance of sleep paralysis after four days of use. (All symptoms cleared as soon as I stopped taking the stuff.)

    Right now, I could not lift my knee. I hesitated to put my weight on my right foot. It felt like it might have buckled. But slight movements did not actually hurt, even though I expected them to. I got out my pilates roller and forced the big thigh muscles awake. That did hurt! But I managed to get the hip moving. Stepping was no longer a problem.

    At this point I started suspecting an external cause. I read the labels from my dyes and did some digging on the Web. Then I washed as much loose dye residue as I could out of my hair. Now I’m avoiding caffeine for a few days so as not to aggravate any ecxitotoxicity and taking extra magnesium to settle down some of my neural receptors.

    I don’t think this kind of thing causes any permanent damage. At least as an occasional and/or short-term exposure. There are a lot of alarmist web sites out there. There are some interesting studies published, but not all of them looked specifically into MIT in hair dye. Just because a substance has been shown to damage some cells in the brains of rats, this does not mean that your mental faculties are permanently lost if you happen to be unfortunate enough to get a reaction! Sure, there may be some damage, and it might actually worsen something else you already have. But it will probably be temporary.

    If you have been exposed to something neurotoxic, do remember to check out your endocrine health as well as just the brain.

  48. Jeff says

    I am most concerned about all biocides . I am the water treatement person at my place of employment . I recently had a significant dose of highly toxic Ashland biosperce 271 one my hands, partial face. Took a bath to rinse and it burned horribly.
    The ph level of biocides are 13.7 ! Now 7 is water. And 1 is acid. So 14 being the highest 13.7 is extremely high base low acid. Meaning it will absorb in your skin fully almost immidiatly! This is highly costing . Had a Freind get( dosed) and it went through skin to bone . He died from leukemia In less than 1 year.
    Granted doses in Water and products is low but it does not dissipate from organs quickly. It builds up. I wish I had help!

  49. Joy says

    Just been to local farmers shop and came back with washing up liquid which contains this stuff. I will take great care not to touch the water with it in and rinse everything under the cold water tap. Lidl stuff all contain this and its made in Germany so perhaps not forbidden there. It should come off the market entirely and there has to be a stop to testing this vile element on animals.

  50. Diane Hucle says

    Being this has come out in the news I realize that’s what is wrong with me…I recently thought I needed to get to the emergency room from horrible welts,hives rash using, nexus products, bath& body etc….I noticed all the products I’m using has the same ingredients ….they must be using way too much these days!!! I’m having a terrible allergic reaction , definitely throwing them out!!

  51. Gerald Pagé says

    Je suis tres heureux d’apprendre cette vérité .J’ai appris le danger de cet ingrédient toxique et meme tres toxique par une émission a la télé et dont le Dermatologue de grande réputation de Montréal au Québec le docteur Denis Sasseville a démontré hors de tout doute, les grands DANGER DE CET INGRÉDIENTS TOXIQUE tres bien caché dans beaucoup de nos produits de santé !! Je suis en faveur que le Ministere de La Santé du Québec fasse ARRÊTER TOUT DE SUITE LA PRODUCTION DE CE PRODUIT ET L’INTERDISE DANS TOUT LES PRODUITS D’USAGE COMMUN , car c’est justement dans nos produits a usage domestiques que les grandes compagnies ,pour épargner de l’argent .insère ces poisons dans les produits tres populaires et encore une fois s’enrichissent au détriment de notre santé a tous ”Pour eux l’argent est avant tout le but de leur production et la santé du peuple ils s’en foutent royalement .Un recours COLLECTIF POURRAIS MEMEM ETRES ENVISAGÉ , AFIN DE LES ARRÊTER et les faire réfléchir et pensé VERT PLUTOT QUE MONEY !!!!!!

  52. Rick Briton says

    Where to start. I reckon I’ve been using products with MI in it for over 10 years and my hair began to thin, and the skin around my ears began to peel. Then my face received a blotch above the cheek and towards the ear so it wasn’t noticeable with longer hair. Then this blotch got a little bigger and it seemed like it was seeping down my face and cause what looks like a chemical burn down my face but I didn’t know what it was so I carried on using the products. My ears kept burning after I washed my hair it was crazy annoying. Then the blood vessels in my eyes burst, causing me to get red splotches in my eyes. They would disappear and then a few weeks later come back. I carried on using the products without realising. Then the blood vessels in my eye happened more than often and the splotch on my face throbbed. My ears continued to burn and itch and peel. Then I watched a tv show about consumer goods and they talked about MI, I’ve only stopped using it for 8 months and I’ve had no re-occurrence of blood vessels bursting in my eyes and the splotch on my face seems to have relaxed now. I didn’t know it at the time but I continued to use washing up liquid which would spark my splotch off and I’d wonder what caused it. I now wear rubber gloves when washing up. My ears still peel probably because of the abuse over the years but they don’t burn everytime I wash my hair now. I have to be careful at work too because I’m surrounded by the stuff as well. If that isn’t evidence of cell damage I don’t know what is.

  53. Tara Matta says

    I’ve been struggling to find out why I’ve had this irritable rash on my chin for months. They are tiny small red and itchy bumps. I’ve tried to pinpoint the problem, eliminated cosmetics, lotions, analyzed my diet. My Dermatologist suggested that it might be my tooth paste so i switched that out 3 times…. still its not going away. Finally, my co-workers mentioned the disinfected wipes. Which i use constantly at work, at the grocery store, at home. I used some on my desk one day and noticed part of the varnish on my desk came off where i used the wipe. I’m pretty sure thats the culprit. I will stop using them completely and see if things improve.

    • Janis says

      This ingredient was in my Cottonelle Body Wipes causing me to develope a blistered rash around external anal and external female tissues where I used this product. It took me months of agony trying to figure this out. My family practice doctor or gynecologist couldn’t figure it out and told me it was heat rash because I like to garden. Cortizone cream only made it worse. Finally learned about patch testing, had it done and I reacted at the highest level to this at 3 plus, along with 5 other ingredients. Called Cottonelle and was told they now had taken this ingredient out of their new products, guess I bought the last big box at Sam’s Club. They sent me back $15.00 and told me to destroy the box. Offered to send me the new product free! NO THANK YOU. It took over 3 months after I figured this out to get back to normal, I changed bath soap, laundry products and wore loose clothing. That $15.00 refund was a joke, my suffering symptoms- unable to sit, sleep (sleep deprivation is a form of torture), have relations with my spouse, was no joke.

      • Liliana Gravagno says

        A nightmare which I totally understand. I was also diagnosed positive to this awful chemical. And Nickel as well. I have a grandson and was alarmed that his baby products have it as well and my hands would feel like they were on fire. I would totally break out in tiny pustular bumps that would itch to the high heavens!! I have found no relief. Even after purging everything in my home and spending a small fortune to replace products. I wear gloves and I moisturize all day long!! No use. My life is so compromised by this.
        I am broken out right now and I have no idea what I have come in contact with. Have you found any relief??? I am trying to connect with others who have this problem.

  54. Frank schroder says

    MIT gives me burn like rashes around my eyes nose and mouth. Fabrics on skin (even if 100% cotton) feel itchy and all over uncomfortable. My doctor has prescribed allergy pill but do not help!

    Please take this chemical irritant off the market as a preservative!

  55. Rebekah Baharestan says

    I am currently acutely allergic to Methylisothiazolinone with swollen bleeding hands, now diagnosed with allergic contact dermatitis that may be permanent, I have a complete hand disability, unable to work or even brush my own hair due to this preservative. It is a very dangerous skin sensitizer and my life as I once knew it is over- I still have not had one response from companies after filing multiple complaint chemical reaction reports through consumer product safety commission and EPA. Apparently we are helpless here in the US to seek safe chemical labeling measures?

    • robert carlin says

      I would get an allergy test done. Mine came back as all kinds of things including this topic. For me mostly nitrile products,gloves I was using at work. My hands blistered,cracked and bled to the point of severe pain I’d wish upon no one.I also found out bounce dryer sheets did the same thing that affected my whole body.
      Now after roughly few months of being clear,here I go again.

      Even with the gloves that I had used for 14 yrs my body decided it was time to fight this chemical.amazing to me I change oil,work on cars never wore a glove unless I had to,now I’m changed forever.

      Have you combined a list of products that have this chemical in it?
      If so could you send it to me. [email protected]

      It is a constant battle for me like now only three fingers are broke out on my palm side nothing on top of my hand.

      Good luck and there are so many products that contain this look at your hand soap,shampoo. Good luck finding out your cause,let me know if you here any news.


      • Rebekah baharestan says

        Yes, thank you. I did get an allergy test done, specifically skin patch testing to environmental chemical allergens: positive test results :
        Methylisothiazolinone. Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Octylisothiazolinone. hands are now normal. 1 full year in order to be treated and slowly regain my health and function of hands. allergic contact dermatitis to preservative chemicals is no joke. this was extremely painful and difficult recovery. many many visits and treatments by medical professionals /specialists were needed.

      • Lily Gravagno says

        Hi, I also suffer with the bleeding cracked hands, rash, bubbles, scars. I feel like I am going insane!! I was diagnosed last year as having a real allergy to these two chemicals. Methlylisothiazolinone and it’s counter part. I purged everything in my home and have gotten products that are safe, but to no avail. I still touch things outside of my home so it’s a no win situation. I am so embarrassed the way my hands look all the time. It’s constant discomfort. Have you found any relief??


    • Deana Slone says

      Rebekah, my story is identical to yours. I had been using Pantene, Dawn, and O’Keefe’s for years then suddenly my head and hands starting getting a rash, itch really bad, crack, and bleed. I can no longer do dishes without gloves and they make my hands sweat which increases the symptoms. I have yet to find products without this ingredient and would welcome any ideas.

      • Deana Slone says

        I forgot to mention that I was diagnosed with this allergy by a dermatologist. I am angry that these companies continue to use this ingredient after they have been made aware of the serious reactions people are having.

      • lisa says

        I am having same problem when i wash up some times thepain is so bad i cry i now wear gloves to wash up but i av found that if u use hand cream then put gloves on .it works for me hope it works for you to .

        • lisa says

          Also i do not know if its down to this produce but i can not hold anything for more than 30seconds my hands goes stiff and i av not feelings in my hands i have to wait for the seculation to come bk before i can feel again .i really dont know why people get so greedy for money to sell this stuff and strongly agree it should be banned .they dont realise the impact it as on us its bad enough for adults what is it going to be like on babies it makes me so angry x

  56. Edna foster says

    My son is extremely affected by these chemicals they have taken from his life and reduced it to his own little “bubble”, unable to wear anything but 100% untreated, no dyes no color treated, white cotton, if u can find true 100# cotton. Most say 100% but then label says 97% cotton 3% ? (poison). He is not able to hug anyone wearing street clothes, unable to invite new toys, clothes or friends in. Shoes, socks, underwear, bedding, outerwear, carpet, paint, laundry soap, bath soap, lotions, furniture, all these basics of life have been made toxic with these chemicals. every environment is a possible hasard because of its wide spread use. These bad chemicals have stolen his life, he 37 with to boys to raise in Michigan, living is tough enough but imagine kid brings in a new toy and you become covered in a rash, imagine no winter coat in Michigan, imagine your son whom you are so proud has a performance 5hrs away and you can’t ride in just any car the interior may be toxic can’t have a rider, they may be toxic with clothes, lotions, fabric softener. I just heard a report eczema is on the raise, is it due to these toxins? This is a man/greed made problem we must get fixed, I am sure there are many more people affected who have no idea yet that it is the same products that they use to make them beautiful that are the poisons

  57. Monica Houghton says

    I developed a full body rash as a result of isothiazolinone, and am still having issues as it is very difficult to avoid the product when it is not always present on the label, or website, even when it is present in a product. I feel that all ingredients should be listed so that consumers can be aware and make educated decisions regarding their health. I have since started this petition:

  58. Moyra Wight says

    On a whim I chose not to buy my usual Fairy gel tabs but instead chose Bold 2in 1 . It has taken me a couple of weeks to work out why my body is covered in large welts/hives that are itching like mad. Doctors Antihistamine tablets were proving to be useless. Then I realised that MI is in the fabric softener. Wearing my clothes and sleeping in the linen was making it worse day by day. At the very least a warning that MI is an ingredient should be in large letters on the front of the packaging. All this misery for something that should be banned. See the e petition to sign and have the question raised in parliament

  59. Peter Newbey says

    I realised over a year ago that I was allergic to these caustic substances, and made sure, after throwing away most of my soap products including, non bio liquid, hand soap and made sure all these items were MIT Etc., free. Back in February of this year I brought fabric softener from LIDL’s and after using it I had all the itching discomfort back. After watching a prog., on TV about these caustics, I checked this product to find it is full of at least three of these. Here in the UK, Coys., have been asked to faze out all these caustic products. The problem here, is that in the EU they are able to legally use 10 times more strength, than here in the UK. As nearly all our Stores are owned by various Coys., from around the world, they are free to import their goods from anywhere in the World. Until this is banned, we will go on suffering, until some ones big wig wife is affected, then Parliament might ban this caustic that is said to affect around 40% of us. Peterkins

  60. Kirsten says

    I started with swollen eyes and sores around the eyebrows and put this down to a chemical reaction to having my hair highlighted in the salon, this went on for quite few months with no resolution so I had all my hair cut short (was down to the bottom of my back!) This alleviated the problem, have grown it since and so it is long again, I used Herbal essences hello hydration yesterday, changed from another shampoo and conditioner I was using and lo and behold my eyes started swelling up yesterday afternoon and this morning they are nearly closed and my eyebrows and sides of my face are very itchy and around my lips all crust like. Funnily enough the herbal essences I bought the ingredients were in a language I couldn’t understand even though I speak several, so went on line to look at the ingredients and see where I could have a problem and found a number of websites about this, its shocking that so many people have to go through this and it should be stopped, Now need to travel to find some medication to try and bring this swelling down and hopefully nip it in the bud before it gets any worse.

  61. Donna Pike says

    I have suffered from a skin rash for 3 years not knowing what it was. I had patch testing with a skin specialist – Dr appointments and cortisone scripts – immunology – naturopath x 3 appointments – Skin and psoriasis clique consults- AND NONE ever tested me for
    • Methylisothiazolinone / MIT also called = methylisothiazoline
    • Chloromethylisothiazolinone / CMIT

    My hands would crack and bleed and ITCH, my thickening skin on my palms would go from the itching and leave behind raw skin that would sting every day. Washing my body and hair would sting, doing house chores would sting, it was driving me insane. I also had the numbness in my hands that someone mentioned earlier, I had the whites in my eyes turn red on morning and went to the Dr who referred me to the eye specialist who said it was allergic conjunctivitis and gave me steroid drops ( which can cause glaucoma).

    I spent thousands of dollars and then just last week I saw a program with a Dr White from LONDON saying that 1 in 10 people are extremely allergic to MIT and CMIT and that was it. I looked at all my products and got rid of anything with MIT or CMIT and I can already see the improvement.

    I also called the companies that had MIT in their products; which were..

    The goastmilk company – they came across like they didn’t care and said the I was the ONLY case that had ever contacted them and complained about getting a rash from their product!

    John Frieda – MIT is in their conditioner
    Babybliss Pro – Argan Oil Resorative Mask – its in there too!
    DU-IT hand cream for dry & cracking skin – yes in there too!
    The goastmilk company – bought the Shampoo & Conditioner from a health food store and because goatsmilk is suppose to calm the skin – but NO!- it was the cause..!

    * I also emailed A CURRENT AFFAIRS & 60 MINUTES to ask them to do a show about these chemicals.
    I sent complain forms to the;-
    * ACCC Therapeutic Goods Administration. 1300 302 502
    * State Health ; 02) 9391 9000
    * NICNAS – National industrial Chemicals Notification and assessment scheme: 1800 638 528.

    If everyone on this site acted, we just might get it out into the public more and save a whole lot more people from the living hell that we have had to endure. No wonder we are all getting cancer! If this is what chemicals do to the outside ~ what are they doing to the inside?

    GO 100% NATURAL – its a must. Apparently NEWWAYS in Australia are chem free to a point and I also found a lady that makes 100 % natural and organic shampoo, Conditioner Make-Up & Skin creams 🙂

    PERFECT NATURAL SKIN: m: 0437 100 490 – all natural!
    SWISS; also have a natural face moisturiser with plantolin.

    Please share your info ~ it may help others more than you know!

    • Kristan Hart says

      I was using Wen which also has this ingredient and my entire left side went numb tingly. I’ve been to two neurologists who say the shampoo had nothing to do withthenerve damage but they can’t find the source. I’m looking for a dr to help!

      • admin says

        Hi Kristan!
        We’ve received this question before regarding Wen ingredients. They’ve taken down their complete ingredient list on their website product page (which I find concerning…) I was however, able to find the complete ingredient list searching the web. This is the list I found for the cleansing conditioner:
        Water, Glycerin, Cetyl Alcohol, Cetearyl Alcohol, Stearamidopropyl Dimethylamine, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Prunus Serotina (Wild Cherry) Bark Extract, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Vegetable Oil (Olus Oil), Panthenol, Butylene Glycol, Behentrimonium Methosulfate, Polysorbate 60, PEG-60 Almond Glycerides, Amodimethicone, Citric Acid, Menthol, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Methylisothiazolinone, Fragrance, Limonene, Hexyl Cinnamal, Linalool, Geraniol, Benzyl Benzoate, Hydroxyisohexyl 3-Cyclohexene Carboxaldehyde, Hydroxycitronellal.C960

        More information on these ingredients is listed here:

        This is a great blog with accurate information 🙂
        Let us know if you have any other questions.

  62. Cynthia says

    OMG, I’m so grateful for this website. The last three days I’ve had HORRIBLE hive attacks. I’m sensitive to gluten, which can cause hives and thought it could be related but I hadn’t had any gluten in my diet so it didn’t make sense. I thought what’s different in the last three days, oh wait I bought a By Terry face powder (Hyaluronic Hydra-Powder) that I began using the first day of the hives. Just checked the ingredient list tonight and saw methylisothiazolinone. In a face powder! That’s worn all day! How horrifying that this is allowed, how do they get away with that??????

  63. Roy says

    I was using pantene shampoo everyday for years and had little sores in my scalp – only one or two at a time that would vanish after a few days and others would come out in other areas. Stopped using pantene and no more sores.
    Has anyone experienced similar reaction to shampoos?

    • Adrianne says

      Used to use Head and Shoulder’s dry scalp and after two weeks of an itching nightmare and my back breaking out in whelps, I researched and found that it was in a product I used a great deal of my life. You can get shampoo and conditioner from The Body Shop. Even after two applications, my back is clearing up and my scalp is calming down.

  64. Natasha says

    I recently found out I am allergic to methylisothiazolinone. My skin has been bad for years and my chest and back are congested. Can anyone recommend creams or medicine or anything to help my skin normalise and clear up. Thank you. Btw- thank goodness for this website!

  65. Erin says

    I am taking baby steps to go more healthy and was curious to see what was in my laundry detergent and it has this as well as a few others that seem harmful-but it came from whole foods! Why does the ecos brand have several preservatives that don’t seem to be good for you?

  66. David says

    Many, if not most, flushable wipes contain this ingredient. I wondered why I was having so much personal itching, pain and even bleeding until I stopped using the flushable moist wipe products. Never again will I use them!

  67. Mary says

    I had two grand mal seizures out of the blue…. 4 days after a hideous face rash! Horribly allergic to MIT but neurologist said not related!!! Not so sure!

  68. Glenn Marocco says

    I’m so happy I figured that this was causing these strange eczema like symptoms -first under my eyes(it’s in Bliss products) then after using palmers cocoa butter ( I was fine with it years ago) and I just used Nivea and itched and my legs were swollen- I was on a vacation and just thought it was sun poisoning or reaction to sun screen. I’m avoiding anything with this nasty ingredient !!!

  69. Adrienne says

    I had a major allergic reaction last year on my face, around the eye area, and have spent hundreds of dollars with a dermatologist Here in Australia to get patch testing. I had a major positive reaction to both MI and MCI triggered by Loreal Revitalift moisturiser, measurements are usually on a scale of one to three but she said mine was about a seven and one of the worst she had seen. As I had used this cream before with no ill affects it is blatantly obvious the cosmetic industry is slowly increasing the amount they are using, they must be named and shamed until they put our health above their profits. I urge anyone with itchy skin, burning sensations etc etc to get a patch test and report to a dermatologist.

    • Gill Key says

      I noticed someone referred to having a severe reaction to L’Oreal Revitalift above. I’ve had similar and I’ve now discovered that this is not uncommon – eyes itchy and skin around swollen and very red, along with rashes on neck around mouth, nose etc.

      For the last 6 months or so I’ve been fine. Once I’d got the irritation under control with steroids and emolients, I stuck to very simple skin care ingredients and all was fine. However, I was still puzzled and wanted, if I could, to isolate the cause for certain so that I knew to avoid it in future. As an experiment I thought I’d just try the merest wipe of Revitalift low down on one cheek – and bam, it’s all back again with a vengence – but at least this time I know what to do.

      What I hadn’t put together until yesterday was headaches, numbness up one side of my face, and tinnutus. I had this for months and didnt think it was connected to the dermatitis, but they are all three back again.

      Has anyone else suffered similar reactions and is there any research that I can read up on about this please?

  70. Mariel says

    Mrs. Meyers contains this ingredient and i’m completely horrified by this. I have been using this product because I thought it was all natural. I will go back to doing my laundry with Dr. Bronner’s magic soap

  71. JTE says

    This is a long posting. I don’t know how to tell short stories . . .

    I did not have a specific rash. I saw an article about six weeks ago about baby wipes causing a rash, and just out of curiosity started looking at my dish washing liquid (7th Generation) for the methylisothiazolinone, which of course it contains. Since I am very sensitive to a lot of chemicals, I switched to Planet, which does not contain methylisothiazolinone. My symptoms, though, did not include having a rash, and I only used the dish washing liquid three or four times a week, with just a minute or so of contact, rinsing it off thoroughly after use. Which is why the results were so very weird.

    I had been having visual problems, where after waking up in the morning I had large brown spots in front of my eyes (I thought I was going blind). The spots would clear up after about an hour. My optometrist could see nothing in my eyes that would cause this. I also had a severe pain in the back of my neck, along the spine, that made sleeping very difficult, and was making my hands go numb unless I held my head and neck at just the right angle. The worst symptom, though, was the vertigo. A severe dizziness, causing me to lose my balance sometimes, and making it very difficult to walk. I was thinking that I might have to stop working, the vertigo was so bad.

    So, with that as background, I was very surprised when, after a week of not using the 7th Generation dish washing soap, these particular symptoms started going away. After six weeks, there are no spots in front of my eyes when I wake up, the pain in my neck and spine has gone away (and hands almost never are tingling), and the vertigo has vanished. I am posting this long tale because I have not found anything relating the methylisothiazolinone to these particular symptoms, and if anyone else is having something similar they may want to look through the various liquids and such that they use (even those just used occasionally) to see if this particular chemical has been added to them.

    One other odd thing. My hair had been thinning really badly. I figured it was just from getting older. Since getting away from this chemical, I have noticed a whole bunch of short hairs sticking up along my part (I wear my hair long, with a part in the middle). I have been watching these short hairs very slowly growing longer during the last six weeks. So, there is a chance that hair loss may be part of my symptoms from this. Since losing hair doesn’t hurt or prevent me from working, it almost seems silly to even bring it up, but it is something else I have noticed.

  72. Robin says

    I suffered horribly for two years because of using Huggies All-Natural Frangrance Free Wipes. It was all over my hands and wiping areas and got so bad I was hospitalized and they brought in Dr. of infectious diseases! He said it was “diaper rash” and on my fingers it was “diaper fingers” ????!!! You can’t have diaper rash if you are not incontinent! It got so bad there wasn’t even any skin left on my bottom. If I sat on a cloth couch or carseat it would rip open and weep copious amounts of fluid…Then I developed a severe reaction to all steroids and I had burns all over my body from it. A biopsy said it was psoriasis. Another Dr, said it was eczema. One day when I was reading on the net I saw a page that said ‘baby wipes causing rashes…’ I stopped using anything with methyisothiazoline in it and withing a month it was gone. And to think my life was made miserable and in writhing pain for two whole years…disgusting. I’m not even bothering to tell the Dr. , let him figure it out for himself.

    • Lolly says

      Oh Robin, what a horrible ordeal. I am so glad you luckily found out the cause.

      But please, please tell the Doctors. By letting them know, they can help other patients that they will inevitably see in the days and years to come.

      Folks reading this: I beg you to let your clueless doctors know. Other people suffering from this need our help.

  73. Method Cleaning Products: Are they really non-toxic? – Mint&Chili says

    […] there have been issues with it. With just 10 minutes of exposure to MIT it was found to be “highly toxic to cultured neurons” – aka nerve damage and “caused […]

  74. Anne L says

    Have been allergic to dishwashing detergent for years–makes hands break out in itchy rash–could not use Johnson’s baby Shampoo on my little ones because it made my hands peel–now I understand it’s this chemical. Just found out Johnson’s has FINALLY removed this chemical from their baby shampoo. My kids are now in their 30s.

    I buy natural hair products at Whole Foods because others make my head itch. It must be the same chemical!

    I’m also allergic to dryer sheets. Stop using them, folks, and see if this helps.

  75. Deb Houston says

    I am allergic to MIT as well, was skin patch tested by my dermatologist in 1999 because of the reaction I had to St Ives “new and improved” formula of face wash that I had been using for years. Back then it was much easier to find products without MIT, but not any longer! I have to bring my own shampoo and conditioner to the salon because I can’t use of their products save for a couple of hair sprays and styling products. Just want to make everyone aware that you ALWAYS have to look for this ingredient if you are allergic to it. Don’t assume that a product that doesn’t have it now will not have it the next time you buy it. It is being used in more and more products all the time. And yes, even in toilet paper!

    • admin says

      Hi JR- please be aware of some of the other harmful ingredients in that Coppertone Oil ! We encourage you to do some cosmetic ingredient research 🙂
      Active Ingredients: Avobenzone (2%), Homosalate (13%), Octisalate (5%), Octocrylene (2%), Oxybenzone (4%). Inactive Ingredients: Water, Sorbitol, Aluminum Starch Octenylsuccinate, VP/Eicosene Copolymer, Triethanolamine, Stearic Acid, Sorbitan Isostearate, Benzyl Alcohol, Dimethicone, Polyglyceryl-3 Distearate, Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Carbomer, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Disodium EDTA.

  76. JR says

    I had issues with my major rashes on my hands for a whole year until I did an allergen test with the dermatologist. Found out I was allergic to MIT and they cleared up after avoiding products as well.

    I use the following products now –
    Dove unscented for sensitive skin
    Organix shampoo (avail at Target) – Sea mineral moisture or Moroccan Argan Oil (have to check all labels bc some scents have the MIT)
    MoroccanOil shampoo & conditioner (avail at hair salons – expensive but great)
    Tone or SoftSoap bodywashes
    Yardley soaps (lemon verbena)

  77. Tiff says

    Ally – Dove has this in some of their body washes and shampoos. I had rashes for over 4 years and went to many doctors…finally to find I am highly allergic to this ingredient. I am finally happy to know what has caused this mess. It was painful and applying this chemical to open rashes is dangerous….
    The UK has banned this ingredient in all items over there. I doubt the USA will ever ban it. Stay away from it!!

    • Charlotte says

      Here in Canada it is in almost everything and has several other names. It is also found in latex and paints jet fuels radiography printing inks adhesives glues as well as the detergents cleaning products & cosmetic products.All your info has really helped me. I am highly allergic to this preservative and have been hospitalized a few times in the past 3 years.Products claiming to be all natural have this in it. This is criminal. Some of the products I use are Cetaphil gentle cleanser lotions Lubraderm unscented lotionsComplex 15 face cream.

  78. ally says

    FYI Mike Dove soaps do not contain this ingredient i use dove soap, body wash, and lotion daily and have checked ingredients and not one contain this in them.

    • Adrianne says

      Dove body wash in the bottle does contain MI. I’ve written the company to disclose the ingredients in the bar soap but their reply neither confirmed or denied so in the absence of the truth, I plan never to use it again. If you are using it and not getting a skin reaction, then perhaps you don’t have an issue with MI. I plan to avoid it to keep the burning and blistering away.

  79. ally says

    I started using a St Ives body lotion and my whole body broke out i thought maybe it was my sensitivity to perfume fragrence so i switched and stated using palmers cocoa butter formula and that to made me break out i then switched to dove which didnt make me break out so i compared the ingredients in the palmers and st ives lotions with the ingredients in the dove because if the 2 were irritants there would be an ingredient in them that the dove lotion didnt have i then found that this “MIT” or whatever it is in the two but not the dove or vaseline lotion i used i did some research and found this i will be sure to avoid products with this stuff in it absolutely terrible

  80. Sarah says

    I started itching terribly everyday for almost two years. I didn’t know why. All I know was that I was super-itchy after a shower, after using anti-bacterial wipes, cleaners etc. The itching was all over my body and head, unbearable, and the only way to stop it was to take allergy pills like Allegra-D every single day. No doctors could find out why. Then I started using shampoos that did not have any preservatives, likewise soaps, and stopped using commercial cleaning products, especially Clorox stuff. I changed the laundry detergent to natural formula one too. Suddenly my itching disappeared. I am pretty sure it is this chemical that was causing this severe hives. But I am worried that there might have been long term damage to my health.

    • terri says

      I’d like to know the answer to this question also because my whole body broke out into a rash after the colonoscopy also.

  81. Karron Smith says

    I have just discovered that I have this allergy after a summer of hell. As I live in Spain you can imagine how bad it was as I needed sun cream everyday, I could not work out what was happening and had to have steroids to take down the swollen eyes. I finally had patch testing and it was confirmed. I have found that Gliss and Fruictus shampoo and conditioner dies not contain MI but I am struggling to find a sun cream without it, any suggestions?

  82. Cheri says

    This has just come to my attention and disturbs me so. On one level because I am a hairstylist in the beauty industry and on the second level because it seems to be affecting one of my 3 children. I have a five year old that was diagnosed with asthma and severe allergies at the age of 15 months. So since then I have only used hypoallergenic and free and clear products in my home and for my children. I also can be sensitive to smells so I stay away from anything perfumed. However he is not the child at concern right now. It’s my 3 year old daughter who has never shown allergies thus far. Several months ago she began itching head to toe and began breaking in a scaly red broken rash around her eyes, creases in her elbows etc. she is also a girl who loves washing her hands, soap, washing her hair and so on…and with a baby still in diapers we still use lots of baby wipes! Already knowing the routine with my oldest son and everything that we already use I believed to be the most gentle I have been at a loss to what was making my poor daughter absolutely miserable. I plan to investigate this more and look into how I can Pursue this further!

  83. Indra says

    Ok so is it only allowed to be in wash off products? It’s in some of my Aveda products that are not wash off like their sensitive moisturizer and their hydrating mask which your skin absorbs in about 10 minutes so you really don’t wash it all off. I think a lot of companies replaced parabens for MIT.

  84. Jane Schofield says

    I have had over a month of swollen eyes, swollen neck, hives, red blotchy skin and the most appalling itching imaginable. I have been treated with heavy duty medication (including steroids) in the belief this was a penicillin allergy. All the while I had continued to use Nivea lotion to cool and ease my skin, because I have used it for 40 YEARS and I trusted it! Eventually found out by chance that this was the cause of the entire problem. I have the bottles from before and after the new formulation and there is no indication whatsoever that the formula had been changed. I am angry as I feel so betrayed (apart from losing a month’s income – I sell healthy apple juice at this time of year, but was unable to go to any event that involved meeting my customers, for obvious reasons.) I don’t have toxic shit in my house (all natural paints etc) or my food – and I am furious that I have been hoodwinked into slapping it onto my face……

  85. Brenda Roth says

    I have been struggling with contact dermatitis for one and 1/2 years. After 2 derm doctors, 3 different prescription creams, taking Zyrtec and/or Benadryl daily, I just found out about MI in Huggies baby wipes which I use on my face. The dr’s had no idea what I was coming in contact with so I started googling everything I use. Turns out the wipes were the main cause. I have had facial rashes, problems with my eyes and lids puffing up, itchy face and neck so bad that I have missed work due to what I looked like! A freak! Found out the hand soap, Method foaming soap, contains it and also my shampoo, Loreal, and my laundry soap, Purex. Why is this ingredient allowed in products? Why don’t derm drs know about it? I am scheduled for allergy testing in a couple weeks but after 2 days off wipes, I am already clearing up.

  86. Lisa says

    I’ve just been diagnosed with an allergy to Methylisothiazoline (as well as Peru balsam, nickel and fragrances). Has anybody found products that don’t have these substances? I’m looking particularly for body lotion, shampoo, soap and facial moisturizer. Thanks for any help!

  87. Rose says

    Hi, I’m from the UK and we have an MIT problem here, too. Do you know if it’s something that has recently been added to products, or is it something you can develop an allergy to? I used to be able to use loads of products, and now I’m reduced to just a few brands – same with cleanser, face cream etc. What makes me mad is that it’s in products that claim to be for sensitive or dry skin! Ie Nivea dry/sensitive facewipes, Dove shower creme, Klorane shampoo. Plus it’s obvious that there are alternatives seeing as other companies don’t use them!

  88. Stacy says

    My daughter has had a rash around her mouth off and on since May of this year. We finally got in with an allergist & had testing done to find that she has several food allergies but the allergist indicated it may be something else since the rash was localized around her mouth. He got us in with a dermatologist. She asked what we use to clean my daughter’s face and I told her that we use baby wipes to clean her mouth and hands after she eats. She told us that she has heard of increased allergies to baby wipes because of Methylisothiazolinone. Of course we have been using Huggies “Natural Care” and that has it in there. Also, Dove body wash, which we were told by her pediatrician to use because it was hypoallergenic, contains Methylisothiazolinone. The rash has gotten dramatically better in just two days of not using the wipes. I am throwing out every thing we have in our home with that ingredient!

  89. B says

    What if I find a product with Methylpropional in it, is it still safe for me to use as I have diagnosed with MCI as a main and small traces of MI?

  90. Ronald Behnan says

    I have been using Herbal Essences shampoo by Clairol which I have just discovered contains, among other things, MIT. For many years I have been complaining of bumps and sores on my scalp and itching on my face, neck and head. Recently, I had my finger nails tested for fungus because some of my nails were breaking and cracking at the cuticles. The test was negative, but I wonder if MIT is causing my condition. I will now switch to a product that is free of MIT and see if it makes a difference.

  91. Collin says

    I saw a programme on the BBC / Watchdog the other night and was amazed at the number of products with MIT in them, from my bathroom I removed five shampoos and two jars of hydration cream and I am writing to Johnson and Johnson, to ask if their baby shampoo has that product in. My rash is on my left hand and my scalp, it looks like psoriasis and on my head looks like Dandruff.

    • admin says

      Way to take control Collin! It is amazing how small amounts cause profound effects. Do let us know how you get on now you have cleaned out MIT. Thank you so much for stopping by, make it a wonderful day.

  92. Lena says

    I used WEN schampoo twice, a month ago. Since then I’ve had very itchy hives all over my neck, scalp and upper back… everywhere my hair hangs, as well as some on my hands. Hair is also starting to fall out more abundant than it usually does.

    I’ve looked up the ingredients and how they are supposed to be used.

    MIT is a “rinse off” only ingredient!! How can WEN get away with recommending to use it as a “leave in”? Isn’t that illegal?

    • admin says

      YIKES we are so sorry to hear this Lena. Oh don’t get us started on the legalities of it all-there is so little oversight of the cosmetics industry that things like this happen when truly they should not. Happy you found the source of your irritation, make it a wonder-filled day.

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