EU proposes controversial classification for Titanium Dioxide

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titanium dioxide
Titanium Dioxide

Europe’s Committee for Risk Assessment (RAC) has issued an “advisory opinion” that titanium dioxide (TiO2) be classified as a Category 2 carcinogen under the EU’s Classification, Labelling and Packaging (CLP) Regulation.

TiO2 is an inorganic compound commonly used in white pigments incorporated into paint, coatings and inks and many other products. Globally the coatings industry is the largest user of TiO2 with 60 per cent of all production used in paint products.

The detailed rationale for this opinion will be released in several months with a “final opinion,” which will be provided to the European Commission where the matter will be fully
considered before final approval.

“There is widespread concern and disbelief by companies along many supply chains leading to a multitude of manufactured products,” says Gary LeRoux, president and CEO of Canadian Paint and Coatings Association (CPCA). “It is generally believed by experts, supported by almost 3,000 scientific studies and tests, that the basis for this opinion is
flawed.”

The CLP process, an ongoing regulatory program harmonizing classifications of substances
based on hazard properties, has implications across the EU for product labels, formulation
restrictions and worker protection. It is important to consider that any risks profiled are
attributable to dust exposures only, and not to exposures from formulated products,
including paint and coatings, where dust is embedded in the mixture and therefore not a
hazard.

CPCA continues to monitor this process while advocating for proper evaluation of TiO2
based on sound science, supported by established and current studies that are contrary to
the “advisory opinion.”

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