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Johana Guatemala

Charlene Parsons
January 29, 2015
Titanium Dioxide
1. What is your ingredient?
- Inert earth mineral used as a thickening, whitening, lubricating,
and sunscreen ingredient in cosmetics. It protects skin from UVA and UVB
radiation and is considered to have no risk of skin irritation because of its
gentleness. Titanium dioxide is an excellent sunscreen active for use on sensitive
or rosacea-affected skin. It is also great for use around the eyes, as it is highly
unlikely to cause stinging in this area. Although titanium dioxide is a natural
ingredient, pure titanium dioxide in nature is almost always adulterated with
potentially harmful contaminants such as lead and iron. Therefore, titanium
dioxide is purified via synthetic processes for use in cosmetics and sunscreens.1

2. How is your ingredient classified in your product? (coloring agent, base, bulking
agent, sunscreen or additive)
- The FDA has assessed the safety of Titanium Dioxide as a color
additive for use in foods, drugs and cosmetics and has issued regulations
approving the ingredient for these purposes. FDA has also issued regulations that
describe the conditions of use of Titanium Dioxide in sunscreen drug products.2
1 "titanium dioxide - Cosmetic Ingredient Dictionary: Cosmetics ..." 2012. 29 Jan. 2015

2 "Titanium Dioxide Information | Cosmetics Info." 2012. 29 Jan. 2015 <>

3. Draw the general chemical structure for your ingredient. Explain what you are
looking at.

Chemical Formula: TiO2

4. Are there different kinds or varieties of your ingredient? (for example, there are
butylparabens, ethyl parabens, methylparabens and propylparabens). If so, please list
them and briefly explain their differences and/or similarities.
- The three common phases of titanium dioxide are rutile, anatase
and brookite. Rutile is the most stable form of titanium dioxide. Anatase and
brookite are stable at normal temperatures but slowly convert to rutile upon
heating to temperatures above 550 and 750 C, respectively.3

5. What is this ingredient used for in your product? Please be specific.

- Titanium dioxide is typically micronized and coated for use in
cosmetic products. The micronizing makes this somewhat heavy-feeling
ingredient easier to spread on skin, not to mention making it more cosmetically
elegant. Micronized titanium dioxide is also has much greater stability and can
provide better sun protection than non-micronized titanium dioxide. Micronized
3 "TiO2: Manufacture of Titanium Dioxide." 2013. 29 Jan. 2015 <>

titanium dioxide does not penetrate skin so there is no need to be concerned about
it getting into your body (well, unless you eat the stuff). Even when titanium
dioxide nanoparticles are used, the coatings employed have a larger molecular
size that keeps the nanoparticles of titanium dioxide from penetrating beyond the
uppermost layers of skin. This means you're getting the ample sun protection
titanium dioxide provides without any risk of it causing harm to skin cells. The
coating process is done to improve application, enhance sun protection, and also
to prevent titanium dioxide from interacting with other ingredients in the presence
of sunlight, thus enhancing its stability. It not only makes this ingredient much
more pleasant to use for sunscreen, but it improves efficacy and eliminates safety
concerns. Common examples of ingredients used to coat titanium dioxide are
alumina, dimethicone, glycerin, silica, and trimethoxy capryl silane.4

6. Briefly list and explain the positive aspects of this ingredient.

- Titanium dioxide is the subject of new controversy, yet it is a
substance as old as the earth itself. It is one of the top fifty chemicals produced
worldwide. It is a white, opaque and naturally- occurring mineral found in two
main forms: rutile and anatase. Both forms contain pure titanium dioxide that is
bound to impurities. Titanium dioxide is chemically processed to remove these
impurities, leaving the pure, white pigment available for use. Titanium dioxide
has a variety of uses, as it is odorless and absorbent. This mineral can be found in

4 "titanium dioxide - Cosmetic Ingredient Dictionary: Cosmetics ..." 2012. 29 Jan. 2015

many products, ranging from paint to food to cosmetics. In cosmetics, it serves

several purposes. It is a white pigment, an opacifier and a sunscreen. 5

7. Briefly list and explain the negative aspects of this ingredient.

- Titanium dioxide has recently been classified by the International
Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) as an IARC Group 2B carcinogen
''possibly carcinogen to humans''. Titanium dioxide accounts for 70% of the total
production volume of pigments worldwide. It is widely used to provide whiteness
and opacity to products such as paints, plastics, papers, inks, foods, and
toothpastes. It is also used in cosmetic and skin care products, and it is present in
almost every sunblock, where it helps protect the skin from ultraviolet light.6

8. Is your ingredient restricted or prohibited by the FDA? Why or why not?

- The FDA has assessed the safety of Titanium Dioxide as a color
additive for use in foods, drugs and cosmetics and has issued regulations
approving the ingredient for these purposes.7

9. What is the allowable concentration of your ingredient in your product in order to

be considered "safe"?

5 "natural organic make-up - Titanium Dioxide: Toxic or Safe?." 2005. 2 Feb. 2015

6 "Titanium Dioxide Classified as Possibly ... - CCOHS." 2006. 2 Feb. 2015


7 "Titanium Dioxide Information | Cosmetics Info." 2012. 2 Feb. 2015 <>

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)

permissible exposure limit for TiO2 is 15 mg/m3, based on the airborne mass
fraction of total TiO2 dust. In 1988, NIOSH recommended that TiO2 be classified
as a potential occupational carcinogen and that exposures be controlled as low as
feasible. This recommendation was based on the observation of lung tumors
(nonmalignant) in a chronic inhalation study in rats at 250 mg/m3 of fine TiO2. 8

10. What is your opinion of this ingredient based on what you have researched?
- I am amazed at how this ingredient can be so dangerous, yet have
really good effects. I also cant understand why it is still allowed even though
there is all this research about how unsafe it is.

8 "Occupational Exposure to Titanium Dioxide - Centers for ..." 2011. 2 Feb. 2015