There is one relatively unknown but potentially significantly toxic chemical that keeps turning up in my cosmetic and cleaning products. Methylisothiazolinone is that chemical. It is a preservative with significant suspected toxicity. Enough of a toxicity concern that Health Canada’s Hotlist limits the amount that can be in a cosmetic formulation. Even if we all assume if it is used in extremely small ‘safe’ amounts, it causes me concern. Here’s the scoop….
My first notice of the issue with Methylisothiazolinone was from a mom blogger who had discovered it in a water-based nail polish marketed as ‘all-natural’ and marketed toward little girls. Having two little girls who love nail polish, I found it upsetting and unbelievable that a company would stoop so low. I called Health Canada to ask why a product with one of their most toxic ‘Hotlist’ cosmetic chemicals could be sold as ‘all natural’ and marketed to kids? They suggested I call the company who manufactured it and discuss their suspect use of a marketing claim. Huh?
Upset, I realized I had to do this on my own. I realized that nobody would act as my family’s ‘guardian angel’ but me. It didn’t take much of a search to confirm the prevalence of Methylisothiazolinone in conventional ‘big brand’ sunscreens, shampoos, conditioners, lotions. I found it in fancy shmancy face creams and even in my dish washing liquid (no different to me than a hand wash product as it touches my hands multiple times daily). And sadly, I found it in more than one product touted as ‘green’ or ‘natural’ and for kids.
Anyone wanting to check their products, can follow what I do. First, product ingredients should be easily found on-line on corporate websites. Most won’t indicate any toxicity issues so this is where you get on your armour and become a warrior for your own health. Google any ingredient and you can get a pretty good sense of toxicity issues yourself.
Also a great resource for finding companies that offer truly natural, non-toxic options in cosmetics is Environmental Defence Canada’s list of Just Beautiful pledge companies.
And ‘Greenwashers’ we are onto you and please leave our kids out of this…