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Data: Good

Titanium Dioxide (Sunscreen Grade)

  • This ingredient’s score is higher if used in products that are inhalable (e.g., sprays, powders) because of respiratory concerns.

IMAGE SOURCE: PubChem

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Other Concerns

Enhanced skin absorption, Non-reproductive organ system toxicity (moderate), Irritation (skin, eyes, or lungs) (low), Occupational hazards (high), and Biochemical or cellular level changes (high)

SYNONYMS

MICRONIZED TITANIUM DIOXIDE, MICROTIO2, NANO TIO2, NANO TITANIUM DIOXIDE, TITANIUM DIOXIDE (NANO), and TITANIUM DIOXIDE (SUNSCREEN GRADE)

Restricted

Restricted: EWG VERIFIED products cannot contain this ingredient without adequate substantiation


Titanium dioxide has a long history of use as a sunscreen agent. Nano TiO2 offers greater sun protection than larger titanium particles. Comparatively little is known regarding potential health effects of nanoparticles. They do not penetrate healthy skin, and thus appear to pose a low health risk in lotions. Inhalation of powders and sprays is a concern.

Common concerns

See how this product scores for common concerns.

  • MODERATE
    Cancer
  • LOW
    Allergies & Immunotoxicity
  • LOW
    Developmental and Reproductive Toxicity
  • LOW
    Use Restrictions

Ingredient concerns

  • CONCERNS
  • DATA SOURCES

Products with this Ingredient

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foundation394 products
daily use with SPF364 products
recreational sunscreen213 products
lipstick138 products
eye shadow136 products
BB cream126 products
concealer76 products
CC cream67 products
lip gloss52 products
blush52 products
bar soap50 products
baby sunscreen49 products
bronzer/highlighter42 products
38 products
brow liner36 products
lip balm with SPF35 products
facial powder30 products
lip liner28 products
eye liner23 products
mascara15 products
lip plumper13 products
anti-aging12 products
lip balm10 products
around-eye cream10 products
makeup primer9 products
serums & essences8 products
mask7 products
shampoo6 products
exfoliant/scrub6 products
nail polish5 products
setting powder/spray5 products
toothpaste4 products
facial moisturizer/treatment4 products
facial cleanser4 products
body wash/cleanser4 products
hair color and bleaching3 products
bath oil/salts/soak3 products
moisturizer3 products
tanning oil2 products
baby lotion1 products
body art1 products
styling gel/lotion1 products
detangler1 products
fragrance for men1 products
eyelash glue1 products
other eye makeup1 products

Enhanced skin absorption

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CONCERN REFERENCE
Nano-scale ingredients with potential to absorb into the skinNanomaterial Database
Suspected nano-scale ingredients with potential to absorb into the skinNanomaterial Database
Does not cause enhanced penetrationOpen scientific literature

Biochemical or cellular level changes

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CONCERN REFERENCE
Produces excess reactive oxygen species that can interfere with cellular signaling, cause mutations, lead to cell death and may be implicated in cardiovascular disease.Open scientific literature
One or more animal studies show organ changes at moderate doses where the human health implications are not yet well understoodOpen scientific literature

Occupational hazards

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CONCERN REFERENCE
Allowed workplace exposures restricted to low dosesNational Library of Medicine HazMap

Cancer

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CONCERN REFERENCE
Limited evidence of carcinogenicityNIOSH Occupational Carcinogens
Limited evidence of carcinogenicityInt'l Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) - Carcinogens
Cancer - limited evidenceScorecard.org Toxicity Information
One or more in vitro tests on mammalian cells show positive mutation resultsOpen scientific literature

Organ system toxicity (non-reproductive)

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CONCERN REFERENCE
Classified as medium human health priorityEnvironment Canada Domestic Substance List
Classified as expected to be toxic or harmfulEnvironment Canada Domestic Substance List
One or more animal studies show respiratory effects at very low dosesOpen scientific literature
Associated with respiratory toxicityOpen scientific literature
Associated with any toxicityEPA Toxic Release Inventory PBTs

Decreased skin absorption

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CONCERN REFERENCE
No absorption into intact skinOpen scientific literature

Irritation (skin, eyes, or lungs)

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CONCERN REFERENCE
One or more animal studies show significant but moderate pulmonary irritation at low dosesOpen scientific literature

Allergies/immunotoxicity

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CONCERN REFERENCE
Associated with immunotoxicity or allergiesOpen scientific literature

Ecotoxicology

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CONCERN REFERENCE
Wildlife and environmental toxicityOpen scientific literature
Not suspected to be an environmental toxinEnvironment Canada Domestic Substance List

Informational

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CONCERN REFERENCE
Industry or government recommendations for safe use: restrictions on concentration, impurities, product types, or manufacturing methods - Color additive approved by FDA for use in cosmeticsFDA Color Additive Status
Industry or government recommendations for safe use: restrictions on concentration, impurities, product types, or manufacturing methods - Color Additives - Exempt from Batch Certification by the U.S. Food and Drug AdministrationCTFA International Cosmetic Ingredient Dictionary and Handbook

Multiple, additive exposure sources

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CONCERN REFERENCE
Designated as safe for general or specific, limited use in foodFDA Everything Added to Food

Persistence and bioaccumulation

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CONCERN REFERENCE
Not suspected to be bioaccumulativeEnvironment Canada Domestic Substance List

Data gaps

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CONCERN REFERENCE
10185 studies in PubMed science library may include information on the toxicity of this chemicalNLM PubMed
  • NanoWerk. 2007. Nanomaterial Database. Available online: http://www.nanowerk.com/phpscripts/n_dbsearch.php
  • Open scientific/peer reviewed literature
  • NLM (National Library of Medicine). 2006. HazMap — Occupational Exposure to Hazardous Agents.
  • NIOSH (National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health). 2006. NIOSH Carcinogens List (Potential occupational carcinogens). http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/npotocca.html.
  • IARC (International Agency for Research on Cancer). 2008. Overall Evaluations of Carcinogenicity to Humans, as evaluated in IARC Monographs Volumes 1-99 (a total of 935 agents, mixtures and exposures).
  • ED (Environmental Defense). 2006. Scorecard _ The Pollution Information Site. http://www.scorecard.org.
  • EC (Environment Canada). 2008. Domestic Substances List Categorization. Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA) Environmental Registry.
  • EPA (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency). 1999. Toxics Release Inventory Program. PBT Chemical Rule.
  • FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration) 2006. Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition. Color Additive Status List. September 2006.
  • CTFA (Cosmetic, Toiletry and Fragrance Association). 2006. International Cosmetic Ingredient Dictionary and Handbook, 11th Edition. Color Additive Information. Washington, DC.
  • FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration). 2008. EAFUS [Everything Added to Food]: A Food Additive Database. FDA Office of Food Safety and Applied Nutrition.
  • NLM (National Library of Medicine). 2012. PubMed online scientific bibliography data. http://www.pubmed.gov.

Understanding scores

Cosmetics and personal care products are not required to be tested for safety before being allowed on the market. The Skin Deep® scoring system was designed to help the public understand whether a product is safe to use or whether it contains ingredients of concern.

Every product and ingredient in Skin Deep gets a two-part score – one for hazard and one for data availability. The safest products score well by both measures, with a low hazard rating and a fair or better data availability rating.

HOW WE DETERMINE SCORES

Hazard score

The Skin Deep ingredient hazard score, from 1 to 10, reflects known and suspected hazards linked to the ingredients. The EWG VERIFIED™ mark means a product meets EWG’s strictest criteria for transparency and health.

Score legend

Data availability

The Skin Deep data availability rating reflects the number of scientific studies about the product or ingredient in the published scientific literature.

NONE LIMITED FAIR GOOD ROBUST
Low Availability
Moderate Availability
High Availability

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