MAPLE GROVE, Minn. (KMSP) - Young Hattie Sandager is allergic to nearly everything--or at least an ingredient used in nearly everything.
Methylisothiazolinone, a word unpronounceable to most kids her age, is all too familiar for Sandager. It's an ingredient in almost all household cleaners, shampoos, liquid soaps, lotion, ink, aerosol sprays, the list goes on and on.
"I don’t think I’ve come across a product that I assume is safe anymore," Jill Sandager, Hattie's mother, said. "It’s something that’s constantly on her mind and constantly on my mind. Should I touch this? Should I hug this person? can I shake your hand?"
Coming into contact with those products gives Hattie an eczema-like reaction, with cracked, dry, red and puffy skin, especially on her hands.
"I have to wear gloves to school and that’s kind of embarrassing," Hattie said. "I don’t usually touch peoples hair or do their hair because they use shampoos I’m allergic to."
Most cleaners and similar products aren't held to strict ingredient labeling rules, often making it very difficult to know what you're buying. Jill Sandager is now pushing for better labeling of household products, hoping to someday know for certain what products will affect her daughter and what is safe for her to use.