New Classification of Titanium Dioxide

The EU Commission has reclassified titanium dioxide powder under the CLP Regulation. The material is classified as carcinogenic category 2 (suspected carcinogenic effect by inhalation). This decision of 04.10209 has now been published on 18.02.2020 in a delegated regulation. The implementation must be completed within 18 months by mid of 2021.

The classification applies only to powder material. Accordingly, inks and paper do not have to be labelled. However, various consequences result from downstream legislation. Liquids containing at least 1% titanium dioxide must be labelled with the note EUH 211 (Warning! Hazardous respirable droplets may be formed when sprayed. Do not breathe spray or mist). Solid materials such as paper require the indication EUH 212 (Warning! Hazardous respirable dust may be formed when used. Do not breathe dust.), which must be given irrespective of the particle size and whether they can be released at all. Adjustments of the downstream legislation have been announced but up to now not been implemented. As industry we must hope that the decision of the EU Commission does not lead to consumer uncertainty.

There will be particular difficulties with waste disposal. Waste containing more than 1% titanium dioxide must be disposed of as “hazardous waste” and must not be used for recycling.

The packaging industry with white printing inks and the decor industry with highly filled papers will be particularly affected. Papers for décor printers may contain more than 30% titanium dioxide.

ERA will monitor the development, and as soon as possible will call in a meeting on this subject.