Titanium dioxide a suspected carcinogen, says EU

A decision to classify the ubiquitous white pigment titanium dioxide as suspected of causing cancer by inhalation has sparked uproar among industry.

The substance has an enormous number of industrial and commercial applications, particularly in paints and coatings, where its whiteness and brightness provide key advantages that cannot be achieved using other materials, says the industry. The Titanium Dioxide Manufacturers Association (TDMA), a division of EU chemicals industry group Cefic, described it as a costly and pointless move.          

The amendment to the EU Classification, Labelling and Packaging Regulation, published last month, will require packages to bear a pictogram describing it as a health hazard from 1 October 2021. It has been on the cards for years. Two EU member states objected to the controversial proposal late last year.

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