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Lawyer calls for cosmetic preservative to be banned following allergic reactions

Leading cosmetic injury lawyer calls for chemical in cosmetics, blamed for extreme allergic reaction, to be banned and calls on manufacturers to stop 'playing Russian roulette with customer's health'

18 September 2013

A leading lawyer has called for a ban on a chemical, used in a wide range of beauty products, which is being blamed for dangerous adverse reactions.

The preservative methylisothiazolinone (MI), is a preservative that is designed to extend the shelf life of a product with no useful properties for users.

In some cases exposure to the chemical has caused rashes, lumps, blisters, itchy eyes and in one case, a woman’s head and face swelled up so much that doctors feared she would have trouble breathing without urgent treatment.

The use of the chemical will feature in tonight’s Watchdog (18th September 2013), which has been contacted by more than 150 people who have suffered skin reactions to the Piz Buin product.

The programme comes amidst growing concerns by experts of the scale of allergic reactions to the chemical, which has been used increasingly since 2005.

According to the Daily Mail, leading dermatologist Dr Ian White, from St Thomas’ Hospital in London, said: ‘The frequency of reactions to MI is unprecedented in my experience. 'We’ve never seen anything quite like it. Contact allergy to this permitted preservative is now of epidemic proportions. Immediate action needs to be taken by industry.’

Michelle Victor a product liability specialist with law firm Leigh Day who specialises in the area of cosmetic injury, said:

“There really is no need for this preservative for the end user, it simply extends the potential for profit for the manufacturer whilst putting at risk a substantial percentage of users. It should be banned immediately and companies should stop playing Russian roulette with the health of their customers.”

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