The European Union classified titanium dioxide (TiO2) as a category 2 suspected carcinogen by inhalation under EU Regulation (EC) No 1272/2008 on classification, labelling and packaging (CLP) of substances and mixtures on February 18th, 2020. The EU’s decision applies from 1st of October 2021 and is only applicable on the EU market.
What is titanium dioxide?
Titanium dioxide is an inorganic compound that is used as a white pigment in many industrial applications. It has been used for decades in both consumer products such as sun screens, toothpastes and pharmaceuticals as well as in paint, coatings, printing inks and wallcoverings. Also Teknos paints contain titanium dioxide.
The classification means that some powder coatings will become classified mixtures, carrying a pictogram and the phrase “suspected of causing cancer by inhalation”. In paints and inks in liquid form (such as paints sold on consumer market) titanium dioxide does not occur in inhalable format. However, a warning sentence to warn against spraying and respirable droplets must be added.
Teknos takes chemical safety very seriously, and will relabel its products to meet the new classification criteria. Also Safety Data Sheets will be amended accordingly.
Using coatings remains safe
Powder coatings are used and sold on industrial markets, where workers are already protected from dust exposure through national and EU level legislation well as wearing personal dust masks being a normal procedure.
No changes to application or safety procedures are needed due to the new classification. However, it is expected that the future will bring changes in waste legislation and recycling. This is yet to be discussed on EU level.