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Why you should choose Methylisothiazolinone free cleaning products

Why you should choose Methylisothiazolinone free cleaning products

What is Methylisothiazolinone?

Methylisothiazolinone (MI) is a synthetic ingredient that is commonly found in many household cleaners, including many so called "green cleaners" despite existing science that proves it causes harm to human health and aquatic life. 

Methylisothiazolinone (MI or MIT) is part of a family of chemical preservatives which also includes benzisothiazolinone (BIT or BI), methylchloroisothiazolinone (MCI, CMI or CMIT), and octylisothiazolinone (OIT or OI). Isothiazolinones are often used to extend a product’s shelf life and protect you against exposure to bacteria and fungi by inhibiting the growth of those organisms (collectively known as microbes or as we like to call them “bugs”).

Methylisothiazolinone was first registered in the U.S. in 1977 and initially used in paints, adhesives/glues and cleaners, especially in a mixture with methylchloroisothiazolinone. Since 2005, they have become widely used in cosmetics and household products. If something is used in paints and glues, we don't believe it should be used in your cleaning products!

What products can contain Methylisothiazolinone?

  • Household cleaning products
  • Foundations/concealer
  • Sunscreens, moisturizers, creams/lotions/gels
  • Detergents/cleaners
  • Bronzers/self-tanners
  • Shampoo/conditioners
  • Fabric softeners/ washing detergents
  • Eye shadows, mascaras, makeup removes
  • Bubble baths
  • Polishes
  • Soaps/hand washes/body washes
  • Baby wet wipes

Is Methylisothiazolinone safe for me?

Isothiazolinones are an SVOC (semi volatile organic compound), so they are generally unsafe for skin. They can cause chemical burns and dermatitis, and irritate skin and membranes. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), studies have shown that methylisothiazolinone can also lead to lung toxicity, high skin and eye irritation, and even neurotoxicity. Testing of American homes are now showing that isothiazolinones emitted from products and materials used in the home are sticking around LONG after the product is used.

Allergies to methylisothiazolinone are extremely common. An increasing number of people worldwide are developing serious allergies to these ‘isothiazolinone’ preservatives: the American Contact Dermatitis Society named methylisothiazolinone “allergen of the year” in 2013.

Is Methylisothiazolinone safe for the planet?

Methylisothiazolinone-containing products may claim to be ‘natural’ but that doesn’t mean harmless. Methylisothiazolinone and other Isothiazolinone preservatives can be toxic to our ecosystem, causing harm to aquatic life such as birds, freshwater and marine organisms. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) reports that Methylisothiazolinone is moderately to highly toxic for freshwater and estuarine organisms. 

Do Sensitive Home® products contain isothiazolinones?

No way! Don’t get us wrong — we know making safe cleaning products also means no microbial contamination. Our unique method of producing Sensitive Home cleaners ensures that the formulas are able to preserve themselves without having to use these nasty preservatives.

How do I know if a product has isothiazolinones in it?

Preservatives are usually located at the end of an ingredient list. Check for words that end in "isothiazolinone" or look for the following words (not exhaustive):

Benzisothiazolinone (BIT): 1,2-Benzisothiazolin-3-one
Methylisothiazolinone (MIT or MI): 2-methyl-4-isothiazoline-3-one
Methylchloroisothiazolinone (MCI, CMI or CMIT): 5-chloro-2-methyl-4-isothiazolin-3-one
Octylisothiazolinone (OIT): 2-octyl-isothiazol-3-one
Acticide® 45, Acticide® MBR, Acticide® MBS
Euxyl® K 100
Neolone® 950, Neolone® M-10
Kathon® CG, Kathon® CG/ICP, Kathon® LX, Kathon® WT
Microcare® MT
OriStar MIT
Proxel® AQ, Proxel® PL, Proxel®XL2

Methylisothiazolinone free cleaning + personal care products:

Household Cleaner: Sensitive Home All Purpose Cleaner
Shampoo: Vanicream Free & Clear Hair Shampoo
Body Wash: Petal Fresh
Dish Soap: Sensitive Home Dish Soap
Lotion: Beauty Counter
Sunscreen: Coola

It’s not always easy to avoid methylisothiazolinone, so if you do use a product with it be sure to rinse your skin immediately after you use it. At the very least, avoiding products with methylisothiazolinone that are leave-on, such as lotions, will make all the difference!