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Health Canada warns Canadians of risks related to MI/MCI preservatives

Health Canada is informing consumers of potential risks related to the combination of methylisothiazolinone and methylchloroiso-thiazolinone (MI/MCI) used as a preservative in certain leave-on cosmetic, non-prescription and natural health products (such as skin moisturizers, massage products, make-up, antiperspirants / deodorants, sunscreen lotions, antiseptic cleansers, topical pain relief, acne creams and diaper rash products).

For some people, use of these substances can lead to symptoms including: a red rash or bumps; itching (which may be severe); swelling, burning, or tenderness of the skin; dry, cracked or scaly skin; and/or blisters (draining fluid and crusting). These symptoms may occur each time someone uses a product containing MI/MCI and may become more severe with repeated use,” explains the Canadian Health Department

On December 14, 2015, Health Canada amended the Cosmetic Ingredient Hotlist (a list of ingredients that Health Canada believes may cause injury to the health of the user when used in cosmetics under certain conditions) entry related to MI/MCI.

After June 14, 2016, all products intended for use by children under the age of three that contain MI/MCI should no longer be available for purchase. All other leave-on products containing MI/MCI should no longer be available for purchase after December 31, 2016. Similar rules will be enforced in Europe, effective from April 16th, 2016 (EU No 1003/2014).

Health Canada adds it will monitor the marketplace for information about health or safety concerns involving products with MI/MCI. The Department will follow up with companies if their products are related to an incident and will take compliance and enforcement actions where appropriate.

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