Titanium dioxide

June 28, 2005
Image of Titanium dioxide

Titanium dioxide is derived in its purest form from rutile beach sand. Used as paint pigment for its brilliant whiteness since the early 20th century, titanium dioxide is noted for its ability to withstand color change and its high refractive index. Today, it is widely used in sunblock not only as a pigment, but also for its ability to protect skin against UV light.

MOTW update: 
May 24, 2021

For decades Titanium dioxide (TiO2) has been widely used for its brilliant, reflective whiteness in applications ranging from paints to sunscreens. Although it has long been thought to be safe as a food and toothpaste ingredient, recent studies revealed it to be a possible carcinogen. This month, a panel of the European Food Safety Authority reported that TiO2 could not be ruled out as a genotoxin. It is expected that the European Union will soon ban it as a food additive.

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