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MI (2-methyl-4-isothiazolin-3-one) contained in detergents is not detectable in machine washed textiles

Clinical and Translational Allergy. 2018;8(1):1-6 DOI 10.1186/s13601-017-0187-2


Journal Homepage

Journal Title: Clinical and Translational Allergy

ISSN: 2045-7022 (Online)

Publisher: BMC

Society/Institution: European Academy for Allergy and Clinical Immunology

LCC Subject Category: Medicine: Internal medicine: Specialties of internal medicine: Immunologic diseases. Allergy

Country of publisher: United Kingdom

Language of fulltext: English

Full-text formats available: PDF, HTML



Maja A. Hofmann (Department of Dermatology and Allergy, Charité-Universitätsmedizin Berlin)

Ana Giménez-Arnau (Department of Dermatology, Hospital del Mar, Universitat Autònoma)

Werner Aberer (Department of Dermatology and Venerology, Medical University of Graz)

Carsten Bindslev-Jensen (Department of Dermatology and Allergy Center, Odense Research Center for Anaphylaxis (ORCA), Odense University Hospital, University of Southern Denmark)

Torsten Zuberbier (Department of Dermatology and Allergy, Charité-Universitätsmedizin Berlin)


Blind peer review

Editorial Board

Instructions for authors

Time From Submission to Publication: 12 weeks


Abstract | Full Text

Abstract Background 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. Methods 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. Results 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. Conclusion 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.