Allergy UK is the operational name of the British Allergy Foundation – one of the British charities dedicated to supporting those with sensitivities and allergies.
They have two endorsement schemes. Their Seal of Approval (left) is given to products which, for example, “have significantly reduced allergen/chemical content” and meet certain standards set by allergy specialists. Their Allergy Friendly Products award, meanwhile, is intended for “products which may be of benefit to sufferers of allergy …”
Recently, a reader drew my attention to the matter of Fairy Non-Bio laundry products, some of which were being described on supermarket websites as having been awarded the Seal of Approval.
I found this surprising, as some contain MI, and contacted Allergy UK. Their deputy CEO Lindsey McManus told me that they had endorsed a range of Fairy Non-Bio products previously, when none contained MI, but that Fairy “… reformulated Fairy Non-Bio Liquid and Gel which then contained methylisothiazolinone. As a result, we advised them we could no longer endorse these two products which meant they could no longer use our Seal of Approval.”
This happened in March 2015. Fairy’s owners, Procter & Gamble, ceased marketing the Seal of Approval for the Fairy Non-Bio product range, and communicated this to all parties they work with, but this message clearly has not got through fully, because Tesco’s page for Fairy Non-Bio Washing Gel (which contains both BIT and MI, as can be seen) still mentions the Seal of Approval in the blurb (see right, screen grab taken 20th March 2016).
For clarity, it is the Fairy Non-Bio Liquid and Gel which contain isothiazolinones.
It appears that the Fairy Non-Bio Powder / Granules and Fairy Non-Bio Tablets / Liquid Tablets / Capsules are MI-free.
All Procter & Gamble products in various countries (including brands such as Bold, Ariel, Febreze, Lenor, Daz, Viakal and many more) and their ingredients can be checked at their site here. As always, check labels too, though.
Allergy UK Policy on MI
Lindsay also told us that “Allergy UK do not endorse products containing methylisothiazolinone which come into contact with the skin, e.g. personal care products or laundry products.”
Good news. But this does mean products such as MI-containing paints, surface cleaners or air fresheners can be endorsed. And in fact, at least one endorsed paint, Keim Ecosil-ME, does contain MI, albeit at a very low level – maximum 0.0006%. Keim told us that this was the product in their range with the lowest MI and that the MI ” … isn’t added to the paint by Keim, but present as an impurity via the raw materials and therefore we feel it responsible to disclose it”. Indeed – but it’s still not MI Free.
Possibly the most useful of Allergy UK endorsed products are the Cleaning Products – but bear in mind that only laundry products are guaranteed MI-free, not surface cleaners, for which the usual precautions must apply. That said, many will be MI-free and also possibly free of other allergen triggers / fragrances.
Surcare laundry products are included (other than their fabric conditioner – which does contain isothiazolinones).
Ecover Zero products (which are additionally fragrance free – pictured above) are completely safe (this does not necessarily apply in other countries, such as the US).