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M.I.T.: Must Inspect Thoroughly!

Last week, I mentioned how I, growing up, looked up to one of the most prominent sports personalities in history: Michael Jordan. And when she, too, was as young (perhaps even younger), my wife also admired another famous figures in history, only this time one from the movie/music industry: Julie Andrews.

For as long as she could remember, my wife faithfully followed the footsteps of the famous actress and singer. At the tender age of 

eight, my wife already had an appreciation of Julie Andrews’s classic films, such as Mary Poppins and, of course, The Sound of Music. I’m certain my wife knows the songs to these musicals like the back of her hand, and I am positive she can name almost every one. I, on the other hand, am familiar with only a handful of them, especially from the former.

The most popular song from Mary Poppins is arguably “A Spoonful of Sugar.” Another song from the same movie I am personally familiar with is “Chim Chim Cheree” (which is actually entitled “Pavement Artist”). But perhaps the song that stood out for me the most when I was young was the song “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” simply because it was such a challenge to say its title (all the more spell it)! 

This leads me to an ingredient that is equally tongue-twisting, but far more harmful than most people realize. It is called Methylisothiazolinone, but for our purposes, let’s just call it by its nickname: MIT. MIT is a common biocide or preservative that is usually found in cosmetics, lotions, moisturizers, sanitary wipes, shampoos, and sunscreens just to name a few. But did you know that it is also used in metalworking fluids, mining, as well as paint and paper manufacturing?

Research suggests that exposure to excessive amounts of MIT may be detrimental to one’s health. For one, it may lead to sensitization of the skin, making it more sensitive to other elements. MIT may also cause other more adverse skin reactions, such as contact dermatitis. Some people have been reported to experience redness, itchiness, stinging, and blistering on their skin because of the use of products containing MIT. In fact, it was named “2013 Contact Allergen of the Year” by the American Contact Dermatitis Society. And as if that were not the worst, experts say that even the shortest exposure (as short as 10 minutes!) to MIT can be lethal to some neurons causing cell and nerve damage. 

It sure sounds like prolonged exposure to this MIT will not get me any closer to MIT (or any other IT university, prestigious or otherwise)! And after knowing its possible side effects, even Mary Poppins herself would strongly advise against a spoonful of this ingredient. (Ironically, just as I was cleaning my mouse and keyboard with soft wipes, I checked its label and found that is actually contains MIT!)

Although this may make me sound a bit paranoid, I would rather err on the side of caution and strive to be a more conscious consumer. From now on, I will watch out for other products containing MIT and remind myself of this lifesaving acronym: M.I.T. = Must Inspect Thoroughly





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