News Room

Statement by Halyna Breslawec, PhD, Chief Scientist Personal Care Products Council On The Use of Methylisothiazolinone (MIT)

January 15, 2014

Contact:  Lisa Powers, (202) 466-0489 or Hayley McConnell, (202) 454-0302

“We are aware of reports about increased sensitization resulting from greater use of methylisothiazolinone (MIT) alone as a preservative and varying opinions in Europe on further limiting the use of MIT in cosmetics.  Currently in the U.S., the Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIR) Expert Panel limits MIT as a preservative in cosmetics and personal care products up to 0.01% (100 ppm).   MIT is used in products such as shampoos and conditioners that are rinsed off.

“Preservatives help keep us safe by preventing bacteria growth or mold during the typical use of a product so it does not spoil, for example, like a gallon of milk or a block of cheese.  Microbial contamination of cosmetic products, especially those used around the eyes and on the skin, can cause significant problems.  Preservatives help prevent such problems.

“In light of new data, the Personal Care Products Council and its members are evaluating information relevant to exposure to MIT as used in North America and will report those findings to the CIR, an independent body of scientific and medical experts that assesses the safety of ingredients used in cosmetics in the U.S.  CIR will reassess the use of MIT in cosmetics at their upcoming meeting in March 2014.   

“In accordance with science-based findings, the personal care products industry will continue to act responsibly and maintain its highest commitment to safety.”


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Based in Washington, D.C., the Personal Care Products Council is the leading national trade association representing the global cosmetic and personal care products industry. Founded in 1894, the Council's more than 600 member companies manufacture, distribute, and supply the vast majority of finished personal care products marketed in the U.S.  As the makers of a diverse range of products millions of consumers rely on every day, from sunscreens, toothpaste and shampoo to moisturizer, lipstick and fragrance, personal care products companies are global leaders committed to product safety, quality and innovation.