Health Canada Warns About MI/MCI in Leave-on Formulas

Cosmetic and personal care product formulators should take note: Health Canada is warning about the risks of products that contain a combination of methylisothiazolinone and methylchloroisothiazolinone (MI/MCI) within leave-on consumer products.

MI/MCI in Canada 

Health Canada published an alert regarding the "risks related to certain preservatives in cosmetic, non-prescription and natural health products," and the combination of MI/MCI within leave-on consumer products. Leave-on consumer products can be anything from skin moisturizers to diaper rash products. As of June 14, 2016, all products containing MI/MCI preservatives intended for use by children should no longer be available for purchase, according to Health Canada. All other products may not be available after December 31, 2016.

"In our consulting practice we have seen very few issues with this preservative system and were surprised with the urgency of the regulatory actions taken," Focal Point Research Inc. noted in a report. 

According to the update, symptoms such as itching, swelling, burning or blisters can occur when someone uses a product containing MI/MCI and may even become more severe with prolonged use. These preservatives can also be found in rinse-off products including shampoos and body washes but are not subject to this regulatory action.

Health Canada has asked consumers to check the ingredient lists on product labels of their leave-on cosmetics in order to make sure that that the combination of MI/MCI is not present. If these preservatives are found in rinse-off products and are causing sensitivity, the consumer is asked to discontinue use. It also provided points of contact in case of an adverse reaction related to consumer products containing this combination.


In other developments, on May 4, the Quebec provincial government introduced draft regulations proposing amendments to the Charter of the French Language, also known as Bill 101. New amendments would require public signage that displays English trademarks to also include a French description of the business or another presence of French within the signage.

Read more about Quebec's proposed French language marketing regulations in Cosmetics & Toiletries' affiliate site, GCI

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