Ask Nikita: What is methylisothiazolinone and is it used in Bio-D products?

ask nikitaIn our first ‘Ask Nikita’ blog post, we’re asking our resident super-chemist Nikita all about methylisothiazolinone – known as MI or MIT – which has been in the headlines a lot, for all the wrong reasons.

We’ve received numerous enquiries from customers about MIT – there are concerns that it causes and exacerbates contact dermatitis (the nasty condition which can make skin red, itchy and blistered.)

Here, Nikita explains more about MIT and if it is ever included in any Bio-D products. Over to you Nikita!

Nikita says: “Methylisothiazolinone – known as MI or MIT – is used in a wide range of personal care products: shampoos, hand washes, baby wipes and more. It is a preservative and a powerful biocide, capable of killing living organisms (germs).

Dermatologists warn that people are being exposed to much higher doses of MIT than ever before, which has led to a steep rise in allergies known as contact dermatitis, where the skin becomes red, itchy and blistered. One in 12 adults and one in five children in the UK now have eczema, of which contact dermatitis is one of the most common types.

It’s been said that MIT is second only to nickel in causing contact allergies. MIT was previously mixed with another preservative, Methylchloroisothiazolinone (MCI). But concerns about MCI causing allergies meant that some manufacturers started using MIT as a single agent. Used alone, it has been included in products at a much higher concentration. And experts say that since its concentration in products increased, there has been a serious rise in cases of contact dermatitis.

geranium handwashAt Bio-D, we aim to avoid adding unnecessary ingredients to our products; where appropriate, we use the scale of pH to help us preserve them. Most bacteria cannot function in lower or higher pH ranges, and our products that need to be mixed with water before use (Washing Up Liquid, Hand Wash) become neutral in pH when used. There is no need to add any extra biocides.

In our disinfectant and sanitising products (All Purpose Sanitiser; Home and Garden Sanitiser), we use lactic acid, which is derived from corn and occurs naturally in the body; it’s a very effective preservative. And these products tend to be at the lower end of the pH range anyway, because of the inclusion of lactic acid – so again do not require any additional, unnatural preservative.

Where we DO require a preservative – in products such as Furniture Polish and Bathroom Cleaner- we use food grade preservative with the lowest level of risk attached to it, avoiding the need for ‘nasties’ such as parabens and MIT.

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Tips for an Autumn Clean!

Autumn_1405605211October feels like the perfect time for a refresh of the home and to get everything in order for the cold months ahead. Here are our steps for a good autumn clean:

Clean your windows

It’s not always a job at the top of the priority list, but thankfully Bio-D Glass and Mirror Cleaner makes light work of giving windows the wow factor. Tip: don’t use newspaper to clean windows! Newspaper ink usually has a latex base that will leave smear marks.

Re-order furniture

You may want to move furniture around post-summer to block any air passages and minimise drafts, ready for the cold weather. Give furniture and shelves a spray with Bio-D Furniture Polish, and get rid of any books and clutter you don’t need by donating to charity.

Organise your wardrobes

Pack away summer clothes if you’re short on room, and be ruthless with throwing out anything that’s been unworn for a long time. (Yes including that one item you just know you’ll squeeze into again, even though the fashion police have had a warrant out for it since the 80s.) Freshen up clothes and bedding that have been stored for a while with Fabric Conditioner.

Throw out old food, medicines and bathroom products

Clear out kitchen and bathroom cupboards, checking sell-by dates on old products and throwing out anything you don’t use. Give cupboards a spray with All-purpose Sanitiser and keep bins germ-free with Home and Garden Sanitiser (formerly Disinfectant).

Don’t forget the garden

Say goodbye to the garden for another summer (sob!) by cleaning any outdoor furniture, decking, drains and guttering – our Home and Garden Sanitiser is great for this too. You’ll be back outside again before you know it!