TiO2 and Prop 65

IaskedbetterIaskedbetter Member
edited October 2014 in Formulating
This should be of interest to those of us formulating sunscreen products.

My favorite part:

"The move comes despite the fact that the consumer rights lobby group who filed the action, admits there is no evidence that the chemical compound is a risk to human health."


  • Chemist77Chemist77 Member, PCF student
    The boon of 'X' FREE or 'Y' FREE or 'Z' FREE has become the bane for the industry and has provided ample opportunities for any tom, dick and harry to spread fear mongering at the drop of a hat. 
  • BobzchemistBobzchemist Member, PCF student
    In all honesty, I think that these PIA lawyers deserve to be charged with attempted murder - or even actual murder - or at least negligent homicide.The number of lives lost from the increased cases of melanoma that is conclusively linked to unprotected exposure to the sun far outweighs the potential danger to the public from the unproven, tenuous, may-be-possible connection between titanium dioxide and cancer.

    It would not surprise me in the least to find out that these lawyers are being paid by a zinc oxide manufacturer, or some other sunscreen supplier attempting to increase business.

    I think that this behavior is reprehensible. Unfortunately, it's about what I expect from lawyers.
    Robert Zonis, Sr. Formulation Chemist, Beaumont Products "All opinions and comments expressed are my own, have no relation to Beaumont Products, are fully copyrighted, and may not be used without written permission."
  • PerryPerry Administrator, Professional Chemist
    The thing I find most fascinating about this lawsuit is that none of the big companies are settling.  Why not?  I guess they have the money to drag it out?
  • @Perry That appears to be the most logical explanation. I imagine the cost for a prolonged legal battle for a small company would be crippling. Some (most?) probably don't even employ a legal staff for situations like this. Larger companies almost certainly have the wherewithal - both from a monetary standpoint and an ethical standpoint - to combat these clowns. 
  • PerryPerry Administrator, Professional Chemist
    I wonder (if ultimately the judgment does in favor of the safety of TiO2), the companies will get refunded the money they paid out for the settlement.   :))
  • Are the companies pulling TiO2 out of all of their products or just the powdered mineral make up formats? i.e. if a sunscreen contained TiO2  would the manufacturer have to put up the big warning display in store? 

    I'm a Kiwi and our company is just starting to develop a presence in California so it is all new to me :P 
  • shapeshifterstudioshapeshifterstudio Member, PCF student
    Interesting, I'm new to this and taking note of all the controversial SPF ingredients I hear about and had never heard a whisper of titanium dioxide being one of them, only oxybenzone and PABAs.
  • MicroformulationMicroformulation Member, Professional Chemist
    I have been following the TiO2 issue under Prop 65 for a year or so now. Looking at the big picture I doubt it is banned in Cosmetics, but that is just my opinion.

    I think if there is any real threat to TiO2 and ZnO in Cosmetics it would be due to the "perceived" threat to the environment. Here is a link to an article which outlines the issue; http://www.environmental-expert.com/articles/effects-of-titanium-dioxide-tio2-nanoparticles-on-caribbean-reef-building-coral-montastraea-faveolat-415564

    Is the Science fully developed and well studied? No, at least not yet. As we saw with parabens this isn't a factor. It all rests on how much attention it garners and how much weight marketers place on the issues. As we all know in these cases the science becomes secondary yo the marketing.
    markfuller@microformulation.com Microformulation.com Microformulation Cosmetic Consulting provides Custom Formulations for both large Commercial accounts as well as smaller entrepreneurs. We can provide Naturally compliant Formulations under the NSF, NPA, Whole Foods and USDA Organic Certifications. BS.Pharm Albany College of Pharmacy, Union University.
  • RawMaterialGirlRawMaterialGirl Member, Professional formulator
    edited November 2014
    TiO2 is only "known to cause cancer in the state of California" when it is in the unbound, respirable form. So you'll likely see non-powder products being sold in CA that don't have to have that warning, since the TiO2 is not air-borne.

    The workaround, I would imagine, is if you can utilize liquid binders in the powder. While the TiO2 would be air-borne, it would not be unbound and thus not subject to have the cancer-causing warning on the label.
  • SarahSarah Member
    edited November 2014
    I had an email from a supplier yesterday stating the following:

    “Please be informed that the enclosed press release was sent out to journalists last week.

     Earlier this year, the Scientific Committee for Consumer Safety (SCCS) assessed the use of titanium dioxide in its nano form, and concluded that it is safe to use as a UV filter in cosmetic products for dermal application when it fulfills the characteristics specified by the SCCS. "
  • Bill_TogeBill_Toge Member, Professional Chemist
    further to @Sarah's comment, the full text of that opinion can be found here:


    (skip to page 103 for the conclusion)
    UK based formulation chemist. Strongest subjects: hair styling, hair bleaches, hair dyes (oxidative and non-oxidative) I know some stuff about: EU regulations, emulsions (O/W and W/O), toothpaste, mouthwash, shampoos, other toiletries
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