Monday, December 06, 2004 "'These findings are expected,' said Gerald McEwen, vice president for science at the Cosmetic, Toiletry and Fragrance Association. 'MIT is a biocide. The purpose of it is to kill bacteria. You would expect it to be detrimental to any type of cells.'

McEwen said that direct exposure to high concentrations of MIT will be irritating to the skin, because it can damage skin cells. However, he doesn't believe that MIT poses any dangers to consumers in the low concentrations found in household products.

'The ability of MIT to cause neurotoxicity has been studied,' McEwen said. In animals exposed to MIT, there has been no hint of neuro-damage, because MIT affects only the cells it touches and there is no way for it to get into the bloodstream and go to the brain, he said."

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