Feb 26, 2020

EU Publishes New Classification for Titanium Dioxide Via Inhalation

On Feb. 18, the European Commission published a regulation classifying titanium dioxide (TiO2) containing greater than 1% respirable dust content by inhalation as a Category 2 [Animal] Carcinogen. This action follows the fall decision by CARACAL— the expert group that advises the European Commission and European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) on questions related to REACH and CLP — the EU's chemicals classification and labeling regulations. Notably, the Category 2 cancer hazard classification by respirable dust inhalation has been focused on conveying that specific hazard where respirable dust exposures occur (i.e., exposure to particles less than 10 ┬Ám in diameter).

For TiO2 in formulated products — like liquid paints — this distinction mitigates the required hazard warnings somewhat; it does, however, retain them for powder coatings since they may contain more than 1% of respirable dust size particles.

The requirements for labeling in the new regulation will  be enforced  after Sept. 9, 2021.

Despite repeated efforts made by TiO2 manufacturers and end users, as well as by trade groups that represent them, including substantial efforts by ACA and other World Coatings Council members, the EU adopted this regulation that will impose onerous new labeling requirements  for many products containing TiO2, leading to market unease, with implications for product quality, performance and waste management.

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