PARIS — France’s Minister of the Environment, Ségolène Royal, asked the European Union on Thursday to ban methylisothiazolinone from rinse-free cosmetics. It’s a preservative notably used in products destined for babies.

The minister also called for the European Chemicals Agency to speed up the harmonization process for classifying the substance, which can be a contact allergen.

Royal’s stance is shared by France’s Fédération des Entreprises de la Beauté, or Beauty Business Federation, whose members since December 2013 have been removing MIT from their rinse-free cosmetics products, including wipes, the organization stated Friday.

The process of banning MIT in cosmetics products is underway at the European Commission level and should be in effect by the end of September at the latest.

As reported, earlier this week, the Women in Europe for a Common Future organization released a study surveying 341 baby cosmetics products sold in French pharmacies, supermarkets and organic shops, and assessed their ingredients based on labels. The association found that three ingredients or ingredient families it considers high risk are in 299 of the products. These include MIT; perfume or fragrance that may involve potential allergy risk, and phenoxyethanol.

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The organization has requested that legislators ban the three “high-risk” ingredients for children under three years of age, among other demands.

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