BCF challenges plans to label TiO2 ‘potential carcinogen’

Published: Friday, 08 September 2017

Titanium in pigments are not at risk of being inhaled, BCF says. European Commission is expected to publish their opinion in early September.

The British Coatings Federation (BCF) has hit back at a proposal by the European Commission to classify titanium dioxide (TiO2) as a potential carcinogen.

The BCF noted that the proposed classification would lead to products containing titanium dioxide being labelled as "suspected of causing cancer", even in forms that could not be inhaled.

The European Chemicals Agency is expected to publish an opinion on the proposal in early September.

"Given the lack of evidence of any risk to any users, consumers or professionals, of coatings and other finished products containing TiO2, industry (…) are challenging the legislation on this specific element," the association said.

The BCF noted that "once TiO2 is incorporated in paint, coatings, printing inks or wall coverings there is no risk of being exposed to the inhalation of the solid particles of the substance".

"The powder form of TiO2 presents no risk to consumers when incorporated in a finished product," the BCF said.

The BCF also noted that the research showing a link between TiO2 and cancer, as cited by the ECHA, was based on rats being exposed to "unrealistically high amounts of TiO2 that would not be allowed in a manufacturing environment".

"During the manufacturing process, exposure to TiO2 powder might occur," the BCF said.
"However, both at the EU and national level, regulations exist concerning dust exposure and protection of workers."