There are a number of reports about a preservative and synthetic biocide used in thousands of personal care products that is very irritating to skin. I am summarizing the valuable information in one of them. The name of the chemical is Methylisothiazolinone, MI or MIT for short. Here is a list of some of the products in which it is used: baby wipes, wall paints, bandaids, dish soap, sanitizing wipes, hand sanitizer, hand soaps, markers, room sprays (Febreeze), carpet cleaners, paper towels, toilet paper and more. Companies are using this to avoid parabens.
Because of some studies suggesting it is also neurotoxic, some doctors have expressed concern about exposure in pregnant women and for the fetus. One study found that in children with eczema almost 50% had at least one positive reaction in the patch test. The most common allergens in this group were nickel sulfate, MIT and fragrance mix. MIT is part of the fragrance mix.
One committee in Europe who recommends prevention standards noted that once sensitized, even airborn exposure could potentially cause a severe contact dermatitis on the exposed skin.
How to avoid this chemical? Besides the name and the acronym, it is also used in fragrance as MCI. Methylisothiazolinone Free is a website providing information about the MIT and products free of the chemical. It also lists other names for the MIT.
Let your legislators know that Europe and Canada have set limits on the use of these chemicals and you want the United States to do so as well.