A few of this German brand’s paints do contain MI or one of the other isothiazolinones, but many do not.
AURO UK are a key UK distributor of the paints. On their site, you can view the TDS (technical data sheet) for the individual products, and see ingredients listed too. The isothiazolinone preservatives are listed as ‘thiazole‘ so avoid any including this word. For example, the Auro 535 clearly includes ‘thiazole’ — which on inspection of the TDS turns out to be both MI and BIT (benzisothiazolinone) — so is unsafe.
The Auro 321 (wall paint, right) is safe, and has had some good anecdotal feedback.
In April 2019, AURO UK told us that a number of products are isothiazolinone-free — including 250 (gloss paint), 260 (satin paint), 301 (plaster primer), 321 (white wall emulsion), 331 (clay paint), 344 (lime paint) and 505 (grip coat) — but they no longer appear to stock these.
The Organic and Natural Paint Company in the UK also stock AURO (as well as Graphenstone, see below), and have issued a new MI-Free Statement in March 2023, listing the isothiazolinone-free AURO paints they have in stock.
It is also well worth browsing the AURO site in Germany where you can see a greater range and check ingredients there too, and view the data sheets.
Biofa (UK / Ireland)
All except one Biofa paint type are free of isothiazolinone preservatives (the unsafe one is called Primasol). One which is confirmed safe is the Biofa Solimin, which is a silicate-based mineral paint which UK stockists GreenSteps have told us has “several satisfied MI customers”. You can obtain it from GreenSteps Ltd directly, who told us the price is £7-10 per litre, depending on the colour used. In Ireland, the paints are available from Biofa Ireland.
“Zero VOC” interior and exterior paints, which some MI-allergy folk have found works well for them. Declare ingredients on their site, and appear to be isothiazolinone-free. Use propylene glycol as a preservative in some products. See their website here, and for their SDS sheets / ingredients, see here.
Dab Paints (UK)
Soya-bean-based furniture paint in 20 colours. Dab Paints told us their products are free of cellulose thickener, therefore don’t require preservative, and confirmed all paints are free of all isothiazolinone derivatives. See their website for options. See this post on our Facebook page for further information.
ECOS Paints (US)
“None of our paints, primers, stains or varnishes use isothiazolinone preservatives” ECOS paints told us, having been reformulated to exclude the preservatives a few years ago. No old stock should now remain. The paints are also Zero VOC, odor-free, organic and sustainable. See their website for further details. Also available on Amazon.
Edward Bulmer Paints (UK)
Edward Bulmer Paints have a good reputation among MI-allergy folk in the UK, but changes to their products in recent years has meant that it is not easy to summarise which of their products are and aren’t suitable.
We were advised the best thing to do as of April 2019 is to call the offices on 01544 388535 or email email@example.com
Find their website here.
Eico (UK / Europe)
Icelandic paint — gloss, matt, emulsion, primer — which ahead of launch told us it would be isothiazolinone-free. Since then, I have followed up now that it has launched, but have not had a reply. Reader Alison separately contacted them, and was given the following response, which I take to mean that coloured varieties do contain low levels of MI, but uncoloured do not. Check before you buy. Find the UK website here. It’s also stocked by Celtic Sustainables.
Eco-colour made with water, minerals and renewable raw materials — but no isothiazolinone preservatives. Click here for more information (in Swedish).
This brand told us the following (June 2019; our emphases):
“Graphenstone ‘Ecosphere‘ & ‘Biosphere‘ as well as Ambient Pro (pure lime and graphene white emulsion for interior / exterior) in White, are free from isothiazolinone preservatives.
“Graphenstone colour ranges, GrafClean & GCS, contain tiny amounts in the tintable bases. Both Coltec B (APEO free) and C (APEO and VOC free) pigments typically contain a tiny amount of these preservatives. This may still have an effect on people with extreme reactions to these chemicals, however, the amounts will be trace.”
To view and buy, click through to the Graphenstone website, then choose your region.
The Organic and Natural Paint Company also stock Graphenstone (as well as AURO, above) and you can read their statement here. You will see that Graphenstone have provided the company a recent (March 2023) statement regarding the colour pigments, which anecdotal evidence they suggest is low enough in isothiazolinones that many allergy sufferers have not experienced symptoms.
Green Planet Paints (US)
We have been told that all paints are soy-based and free from the isothiazolinone group of preservatives. They use their own preparatory preservative. Click to their website here. To see ingredients, click the MSDS from the individual product pages. Paints contain ingredients such as clays, titanium, earth and marble.
Natural powder paints (below right), hailing from Germany, and which use clays, marbles and mineral pigments. They are also free from petrochemical and synthetic ingredients.
Available as Unearthed Paints in the US (see below).
Available from Tockay Natural Paints in Canada.
Available from The Natural Paint Company in Australia.
Lakeland Paints (UK)
Their untinted Limewash Paint is free from isothiazolinones, and costs just over £50 for 5 litres. You can order in colour versions, but the pigments used to achieve those colours contain 60 parts per million of MI (60ppm). When added to the neutral unpigmented paint, it is “normally in the less-than-1% range” we were told by Lakeland. That means that the tinted limewashes will contain around 0.6ppm, or 0.00006% MI. This is very low, but not ‘free’.
Lime Earth Paints (UK / France)
Lime paints, lime mortars and plasters, which founder Stuart Furby has assured us are free from additives, including isothiazolinones. See their website for details. Mail order in the UK, around a dozen UK stockists, and one in France.
Little Knights Paint (UK)
100% VOC free, antibacterial paints, in a few dozen mainly pale / pastel colours. Little Knights have confirmed they are isothiazolinone-free in an exchange with consumer Linsey Falzon, which she kindly shared with the MI Free Facebook group here. LK told Linsey they use a preservative related to caster oil instead. Free UK shipping; also ships worldwide. Click through to their website here.
White paints confirmed MI-free on the Decorfarver site (translatable into English).
Old Fashioned Milk Paint Company (US / Canada)
Powder paints based on milk, limestone, carbon, clay and earth pigments, to be mixed with water by consumer. Available via Amazon (US) and via Amazon (Canada). Their home website is here.
Real Milk Paint (US)
Powder paints made with purified milk, lime, natural fillers and pigments. Kaolin clay-free. Last around two weeks once mixed with water. See their website for more details.
Renaissance Furniture Paint (US / Canada)
100% acrylic paint with zero VOC / emissions and little odor, say the manufacturers. No preservatives are used, as there is nothing in it that spoils, the manufacturers told us. Lots of colours are available. See their website for further details. Wide range available on Amazon US too. Also on Amazon Canada.
Unearthed Paints (US)
“Purely natural wall paints, plasters and wood finishes”. Water-free dry mixes which are preservative free, and contain only ingredients such as clays, mineral pigments, plant fibres and marble powder. See their website for more details.