We need to rethink Titanium Dioxide

It thickens, whitens, lubricates, and screens us from the sun. It is added to cosmetics, food, toothpastes, pharmaceuticals, food. Some peddle it. Some don’t. Is it safe? We do not know. The jury is out.

When there is such indecision, I prefer to err on the side of caution. 

By 2020 France is banning it as a food additive claiming links to obesity and diabetes. Health Canada says no, as the studies were only done on animals. We need to look at what it may be doing to us. Our children are more susceptible to the dangers as their immune systems are still developing. Decisions relating to the use of titanium dioxide involve the size of the titanium dioxide particle.  The size that enters the bloodstream is a crucial part of the debate. Our interest is looking at titanium dioxide’s use in cosmetics.

Whether the titanium dioxide is micronized, micron sized or a nano particle is relevant according to the studies. Some believe the smaller the particle (nano) enters the bloodstream and can cause neurological dysfunction, genetic disorders and possibly cancer. We are at the mercy of the manufacturer as to the size of the titanium dioxide selected for formulation. The actual name ‘titanium dioxide’ may or may not be on the label. There are no discreet guidelines as to the actual size. Research has no definite conclusions. It depends on who is doing and paying for the research. 

Those For

One site quotes: ‘Titanium dioxide is typically micronized and coated for use in cosmetics products. The micronizing makes this somewhat heavy-feeling ingredient easier to spread on skin, plus a bit more cosmetically elegant. Micronized titanium dioxide is much more stable and can provide better sun protection than non-micronized titanium dioxide. Micronized titanium dioxide doesn't penetrate skin so there’s no need to be concerned about it getting into your body. Even when titanium dioxide nanoparticles are used, the molecular size of the substance used to coat the nanoparticles is large enough to prevent them from penetrating beyond the uppermost layers of skin. This means you’re getting the sun protection titanium dioxide provides with no risk of it causing harm to skin or your body.’ Large corporations like Proctor and Gamble, Burt’s Bees (now owned by Clorox), Neutrogena, all regularly use titanium dioxide and claim it as a safe cosmetic.

Those Against

Dr. Mercola comments on the danger of the nanoparticle. 

Titanium dioxide nanoparticles may lead to neurological dysfunction, genetic disorders, and possibly cancer. Candies, sweets and chewing gum, along with toothpaste and sunscreen, have been found to contain the highest levels of titanium dioxide nanoparticles. Children may receive the highest exposure levels (two to four times more than adults) of titanium dioxide nanoparticles.’

Such opposing views. No wonder the jury is out.

A recent article (Can Your Toothpaste Kill You in the Montreal Gazette (May 5th,2019) quotes new research showing that nano particle titanium dioxide is suspected of causing colorectal cancer. One major problem is we are not always aware we are consuming it in food or wearing titanium dioxide in skin care. If you see the word ‘color’ on a label, titanium could be hidden in there. Labels are a ‘Pandora’s Box’ of confusion. 

Titanium whitens and consumers like ‘white’. As in white toothpaste. We think if it is white it must clean and be clean. We are so spoiled. Our Earth to Body ‘no titanium dioxide’ tooth cleanser is not white.  It is green. You can get used to green.  Our cleanser is a unique and worthwhile experience.

Years ago, when researching zinc oxide vs titanium dioxide to make our zinc blend, I decided on zinc. Titanium Dioxide contains the toxic heavy metal, titanium. Zinc is safer.  Zinc is a mineral nutrient that is healthy.  Our blend is creamy coloured and massages beautifully into the skin. I was assured it was not nano. 

Rethink the use and consumption of titanium dioxide. Our lives and our environment could be in trouble.