Additive cut call as allergies soar
A SKIN expert at Bath’s Royal United Hospital (RUH) is calling for changes in the quantity of a chemical found in everday products as numbers soar of people suffering severe allergy to it.
Dr Deirdre Buckley, a consultant dermatologist at the RUH, said the preservative chemical methylisothiazolinone (MI) could cause allergic reactions and was used in products including shampoos, moisturisers, shower gels, sunscreens, baby wipes and detergents.
There has been a big rise in MI allergies in the UK in the last two years while this year they had been “really dramatic”.
Beverley Lodge, of Sandridge Road, Melksham, suffered an allergic reaction to MI from two moisturising cream she had used for more than 20 years and was treated by Dr Buckley.
Mrs Lodge, 56, said: “My face was very sore, red and my eyes were all puffy, like I had gone a couple of rounds with Mike Tyson and he had won. All of a sudden my face just flared up. It’s made me more aware of MI and I have changed shower gels and washing up liquid.”
Dr Buckley said MI was legal in the European Union, but the permitted level of concentration of 100 parts per million was more than 25 times higher than that allowed before 2005.
In the first six months of 2013 11 patients at the RUH had reported allergic reaction to MI, while in the UK there had been about 2,000 new cases. In the last two years patients testing positive had gone from about three per cent to 11 per cent.
The British Association of Dermatologists is calling for MI levels to be cut and the British Society of Cutaneous Allergy is lobbying regulators in Brussels.