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What is Methylisothiazolinone?

If you saw the July 2023 episode of Chemical Chat then you had the pleasure of watching me butcher “Methylisothiazolinone” otherwise known as MIT. That word almost took me out ya’ll.

If you are not familiar, Chemical Chat is a monthly talk I do on Instagram Live where we explore the harmful ingredients found in some of the products we have at home and educate ourselves on them as well as finding alternatives to using them. We also feature companies that make nontoxic products to showcase. Chemical Chat is the second Tuesday of the month, you can follow me on Instagram @mscecescreations.

What is methylisothiazolinone and where is it found? According to the EPA, MIT is a preservative that was first registered in the United States in 1977 for its antimicrobial use. It is used to control slime-forming bacteria, fungi and algae in paper mills, cooling water systems, oil field operations, industrial process waters and air washer systems and is incorporated into adhesives, coatings, fuels, metal working fluids, resin emulsions, paints and various other specialty industrial products as preservatives.

This stuff basically helps our products last longer on the shelf without going all rancid. On the flip side, there are potential side effects it can have after being exposed to it. Some studies have found that exposure to MIT can cause respiratory issues, eye and skin irritation. Although this can occur, the FDA says exposure to this in a home setting is minimal however as you will see below, it is found in many products that we have in our home. That is why it is important that you read your product labels and familiarize yourself with the potential side effects.

To date, MIT can be found in more than 80 products!

Methylisothiazolinone can be found in:

  • Shampoo

  • Conditioner

  • Lotion

  • Hair dye

  • Baby lotion

  • Makeup remover

  • Liquid soap

  • Detergent

  • Hairspray

  • Sunscreen

  • Mascara

  • Shaving Cream

Wow, that just about covers EVERYTHING we use. I’m not saying go and throw all you items away but read your labels to see if MIT is in any of your products. It is never to late to start, little changes can make a big difference. Consider buying more natural products or making your own if you are into the DIY life! You can read how I make my own shaving gel right here

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