European legislation has banned the preservative methylisothiazolinone (MI) from inclusion in leave-on cosmetics. However, the risk for allergic reactions depends on exposure. The aim of this study was to determine the risk of MI in laundry detergents for household machine washing.
Different formulations of laundry detergents with commercial MI levels, up to one thousand ppm were used and three different types of clothes were washed in a normal household machine setting one time and 10 times. The level of MI was measured by HPLC.
While MI could be retrieved in the positive control of clothes drenched with washing powder but not washed afterwards, MI could not be detected in any specimen of clothes washed under household conditions. The detection limit was 0.5 ppm.
It is important to discuss the difference of risk and hazard. While MI clearly is a high hazard as a strong contact allergen, the risk depends on exposure. Regarding the risk of exposure levels for the consumer to MI in clothes it can be stated that the use of MI in laundry detergents is safe for the consumer if these products are used according to the instructions in the normal household setting machine wash.
Magnano M, Silvani S, Vincenzi C, Nino M, Tosti A. Contact allergens and irritants in household washing and cleaning products. Contact Dermat. 2009;61:337–41. CrossRef
Geier J, Lessmann H, Schnuch A, Uter W. Recent increase in allergic reactions to methylchloroisothiazolinone/methylisothiazolinone: is methylisothiazolinone the culprit? Contact Dermat. 2012;67:334–41. CrossRef
Schwensen JF, Lundov MD, Bossi R, Banerjee P, Gimenez-Arnau E, Lepoittevin JP, Liden C, Uter W, Yazar K, White IR, Johansen JD. Methylisothiazolinone and benzisothiazolinone are widely used in paint: a multicentre study of paints from five European countries. Contact Dermat. 2015;72:127–38. CrossRef
Urwin R, Wilkinson M. Methylchloroisothiazolinone and methylisothiazolinone contact allergy: a new ‘epidemic’. Contact Dermat. 2013;68:253–5. CrossRef
Breuer K, Uter W, Geier J. Epidemiological data on airborne contact dermatitis—results of the IVDK. Contact Dermat. 2015;73:239–47. CrossRef
Podmore P. Occupational allergic contact dermatitis from both 2-bromo-2-nitropropane-1,3-diol and methylchloroisothiazolinone plus methylisothiazolinone in spin finish. Contact Dermat. 2000;43:45.
Podmore P. An epidemic of isothiazolinone sensitization in a flax spinning mill. Contact Dermat. 1998;38:165–6. CrossRef
Ali FR, Shepherd EL, Yell LC, Buckley DA, Williams JD. Escalating methylisothiazolinone/methylchloroisothiazolinone allergy probably attributable to methylisothiazolinone in leave-on body cosmetics. Contact Dermat. 2014;70:316–7. CrossRef
Scientific Committee of Consumer S-S, Gimenez-Arnau AM. Opinion of the Scientific Committee on Consumer safety (SCCS)—opinion on the safety of the use of Methylisothiazolinone (MI) (P94), in cosmetic products (sensitisation only). Regul Toxicol Pharmacol. 2016;76:211–2. CrossRef
Aerts O, Goossens A, Giordano-Labadie F. Contact allergy caused by methylisothiazolinone: the Belgian-French experience. Eur J Dermatol. 2015;25:228–33. PubMed
Warburton KL, Wilkinson M. Contact allergy to methylisothiazolinone: Has there been any change? Experience of a UK centre. Contact Dermat. 2015;72:398–400. CrossRef
Geier J, Lessmann H, Schnuch A, Uter W. Concomitant reactivity to methylisothiazolinone, benzisothiazolinone, and octylisothiazolinone. International Network of Departments of Dermatology data, 2009–2013. Contact Dermat. 2015;72:337–9. CrossRef
- MI (2-methyl-4-isothiazolin-3-one) contained in detergents is not detectable in machine washed textiles
Maja A. Hofmann
- BioMed Central
Neu im Fachgebiet HNO
Mail Icon II