Health Canada are reporting that L’Oréal have recalled their Ideal Moisture Dry and Sensitive Day Cream, with the lot number 20K609.
They say: “The recalled lot of cream contains the preservative methylisothiazolinone (MI) at a concentration exceeding the current limit set out by Health Canada. MI is a strong sensitizer which may pose a significant risk of inducing allergic reactions and skin irritation.”
Over 55,000 units have been sold since July 2013. Given the timescale, it’s possible that thousands of women might have been exposed to potentially sensitising levels of MI.
MI is noted on the label, so this should not effect those who have already been diagnosed with MI allergy, who would ordinarily avoid the product anyway.
L’Oréal Canada, for their part, have added a Notice on their website – but only on the page dedicated to the product. I’m not sure the word ‘NOTICE’ is quite urgent enough, given the circumstances. Their full statement on the matter, which is moderately reassuring in so much that the problem may affect only a small proportion of products, can be read here.
There is an assurance on the full statement that “no known incidents” have been reported, but it’s unclear to me what these might be. Sensitisations? Reactions? How can we know whether any women have been sensitised via use of this product – or via using a sample which did contain more than the recommended levels of methylisothiazolinone?
Another question concerns timescales. The affected product has been on the market for approaching three years. Why has the potential problem only been identified now?
I’m uncertain whether other countries may turn out to be affected by this. More updates, no doubt, to follow.