Test: Many cleaning wipes contain allergenic preservatives

18. maj 2020

Test shows that cleaning wipes are both found with and without unwanted chemicals. Many products contain allergenic preservatives, often Methylisothiazolinone. Due to the environmental impact of the wipe itself, cleaning wipes do not have The Nordic Swan Ecolabel.


Test shows allergenic preservative in cleaning wipes
Photo: Getty Images

Test examines ingredients in cleaning wipes

The Danish Consumer Council THINK Chemicals has examined the ingredients in 27 cleaning wipes. Cleaning wipes are for example used for all round cleaning, for cleaning of the bathroom, glass, mirrors, cars, etc.

In the test 7 cleaning wipes receive the best assessment for being without allergenic preservatives, perfume and other problematic substances. Several of these are marketed with The Blue Label (allergy label).

See all tested products in the Danish test here

The Nordic Swan Ecolabel is not given to cleaning wipes

With cleaning wipes you do not have the option of choosing an eco-labelled product.

Due to the environmental impact of the product, cleaning wipes are not given The Nordic Swan Ecolabel.

Cleaning wipes may contain problematic substances

Half of the tested cleaning wipes contained problematic ingredients e.g. a number of allergenic preservatives or suspected endocrine disruptors.

The allergenic preservative MI (methylisothiazolinone) is found in every third product in the test. A couple of cleaning wipes also contain suspected endocrine disruptors (butylphenyl methylpropional and salicylic acid).

The chemicals in the single product will often not be a problem in itself. But the combined exposure to allergenic or endocrine disrupting substances may constitute a health risk in regards to what scientist refer to as ‘the cocktail effect’ or ‘the combination effect’.

See all tests from the Danish Consumer Council THINK Chemicals

About the test

The ingredients in 27 cleaning wipes have been examined.

  • 7 receive the best assessment (A) for being without problematic substances.
  • 6 receive an average assessment (B) for content of perfume which can be allergenic.
  • 14 receive the lowest assessment (C). They contain problematic substances e.g. allergenic preservatives or suspected endocrine disrupting substances.

See all tested products in the Danish test here

Allergenic substances

  • Methylisothiazolinone (9 products)
  • Methylchloroisothiazolinone (1 product)
  • Benzisothiazolinone (7 products)
  • Octylisothiazolinone (2 products)
  • Iodopropyl butylcarbamate (4 products)
  • 2-bromo-2-nitropropane-1,3-diol (1 product)
  • Dmdm Hydantoin (1 product)

Suspected endocrine disrupting substances

  • Butylphenyl methylpropional (2 products). Perfume substance which is allergenic and suspected to be endocrine disrupting.
  • Salicylic acid (1 product). The substance is suspected to be endocrine disrupting and to harm fertility.

Other problematic substances

  • Hydrogenated tallowamine (1 product). The substance can cause harm to the body’s organs and is also detrimental to the environment.

For further information regarding the test contact project manager Christel Søgaard Kirkeby on csk@fbr.dk