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Monday October 03, 2016

EC Bans Use of MIT in Leave-on Cosmetics

The European Commission published a regulation banning methylisothiazolinone (MIT) in leave-on cosmetics. It is used as a preservative in water-based preparations like hand and body lotions, shampoos, liquid soaps and wet wipes. It becomes effective in February 2017, but permits use in rinse-off products at a maximum concentration of 0.01%.


Following a public consultation that ended in July, the commission also is considering other bans and restrictions on MIT. In particular are the reduction of the maximum approved concentration in rinse-off products to 0.0015% and banning the use of MIT in leave-on hair products. A new regulation covering rinse-off products is expected to be submitted to Member States for approval in early 2017.


Concerns about of MIT have been expressed for at least three years, particularly with regard to skin sensitisation in young children exposed to MIT in wet wipes.


MIT was found to have a sensitising potential, causing skin inflammation and itchiness of increasing severity with repeated exposure. In December 2013, the European Commission's Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety (SCCS) concluded that there was no adequate information to suggest a safe dose of MIT in leave-on cosmetic products in terms of sensitisation. The SCCS also noted that labelling of products containing MIT was only helpful to consumers who had a known allergy.


MIT is widely used in other consumer products such as detergents and paints. The SCCS raised the possibility of also assessing exposure to MIT from such sources in its December 2013 opinion.


Dispatch from the EU is a monthly feature provided exclusively for PSL subscribers by Hogan Lovells International LLP, For further information about the above, contact Rod Freeman at