Recently, the Shanghai Consumer Protection Commission released a comparative test of wet towels. It was found that two kinds of preservatives, CIT and MIT, were detected in 50 samples of wet towels from supermarkets, department stores and Internet sales channels. When the news came out, there was an uproar. Can wet towels still be used? What are these preservatives and how harmful are they?
MIT is the abbreviation of methyl isothiazolone, and it is a highly effective preservative widely used in cosmetics industry. CIT is the abbreviation of methyl chloroisothiazolinone, which is often used in conjunction with MIT. This MIT/CIT mixture of preservatives is often referred to as "casson". MIT and CIT are efficient and cheap preservatives, which are very popular with some wet towel manufacturers.
However, even if the two preservatives are detected in the wet towel, it can not represent illegal. In the current standard of wet wipes, MIT and CIT are not forbidden. Although European regulations regulate the use of wet towels as cosmetics, this is not the case in China, so the restriction of preservatives in cosmetics regulations is not binding on wet towels.
For the case of using MIT as preservative alone, the previous European and domestic regulations limit is 0.01%. For the addition in the form of casson, the limit is 0.0015%. Previously, it was considered that these preservatives were safe to use at the prescribed concentration. But in recent years, more and more data have linked MIT, CIT and allergy. The European Commission has reconsidered their safety and may introduce stricter restrictions.