24th January 2019

TIO2 UNDER EUROPEAN SCRUTINY

The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) has released a dossier from the French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health & Safety (ANSES) dossier that proposes a so-called harmonized classification for titanium dioxide (TiO2) as a carcinogen. The dossier suggests designating it as "1B by inhalation," under the Regulation on the Classification, Labelling and Packaging of Substances and Mixtures (CLP).  The comment period will close July 15.

In 2010, the TiO2 industry evaluated available data and submitted a dossier under the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals regulations (REACH).  The industry determined that, based on assessment of the scientifically valid studies, TiO2 should not be classified in any of its forms, for any end points.

If the European Commission approves the proposal, the classification would be considered harmonized within the EU and require manufacturers there to classify their substances and mixtures in accordance with the classification. This would reverse a long-term worldwide approach of considering TiO2 an essentially benign substance, either in manufacturing or in end-uses.

The French dossier for TiO2 was submitted to ECHA in November 2015.  After the comment period closes, ECHA has 18 months to make a recommendation to the European Commission, which will ultimately make the final decision on the proposal.  Under the CLP regulations, category 1A and 1B carcinogens are banned from the consumer market, meaning that paint and coatings products could only be sold to professional users.

The Titanium Dioxide Manufacturers Association (TDMA) is leading a coordinated industry response to the proposed classification.  ACA will continue to monitor this issue and will work with its European counterpart, CEPE, to ensure that the paint and coatings industry is appropriately represented during the regulatory process.

echa.europa.eu/substance-information/-/substanceinfo/100.033.327