The European Chemicals Agency’s committee of risk assessment has made a new proposition for Titanium Dioxide TiO2, an extremely common chemical, to be understood as a carcinogen. The initial proposal was made by the French agency for occupational and environmental health, Anses.
The Scope of TiO2 Use Today
Titanium dioxide TiO2 is the most commonly used chemical as white pigment. More than a simple white pigment, titanium dioxide can also provide varying levels of opacity as well as the ability for a surface to block harmful UV rays. Current uses of titanium dioxide apart from paints and coatings, include medicines, foods, cosmetics, papers, plastics, toothpaste, and tattoos.
Mixed Reactions for the Anses Recommendation
Anses had approached the ECHA to officially classify titanium dioxide as a carcinogen, more specifically a potential carcinogen. This status is far less restrictive than being classified as a presumed carcinogen. The agency has cited its own studies of the exposure of titanium dioxide on rats through inhalation. According to the study, there has been potential carcinogenic activity within the test subjects’ bodies, including oxidative stress and inflammation. Anses also states that titanium dioxide holds poor solubility and is biopersistent, two factors that ECHA agrees with.
The Titanium Dioxide Manufacturers Association, however, is on the other end of the argument. The association expresses its disappointment over the proposal, stating that the rat studies pertain to methods and actions that may only show potentially harmful results in rats. They also refer to the prior scientific evidence that shows no links between titanium dioxide exposure and harmful effects in humans.