A Measure Of Titanium Dioxide | Chemical & Engineering News
Latest News
Web Date: January 27, 2012

A Measure Of Titanium Dioxide

Commercial Product Analysis: Because of TiO2’s high levels in candy, children ingest more of the whitener than adults
Department: Science & Technology
News Channels: Environmental SCENE, Materials SCENE
Keywords: titanium dioxide, nanoparticles, food safety, mass spectrometry, candy
Sweet, Sweet Titanium
Candies contain high levels of the whitening compound titanium dioxide.
Credit: Glane23/Wikipedia
Licorice candies.
Sweet, Sweet Titanium
Candies contain high levels of the whitening compound titanium dioxide.
Credit: Glane23/Wikipedia

Used mainly as a whitening agent, titanium dioxide is a common additive in foods, paints, and personal care products. But scientists know little about how much TiO2 appears in these products, and that lack of data hinders studies of the chemical’s potential health effects. Now researchers have conducted the first analytical study of TiO2 in U.S. commercial goods, finding some products that contained almost 10% titanium by weight (Environ. Sci. Technol., DOI: 10.1021/es204168d).

“Risk assessors need more data on titanium exposure in people,” says Paul Westerhoff, of Arizona State University, who led the study. “Our study aims to fill in the gaps.”

Westerhoff and his colleagues analyzed foods, such as candy, chocolate, and dairy products, as well as personal care products, such as toothpaste and sunscreen. The researchers quantified titanium levels in the products using mass spectrometry. Concentrations in personal care products ranged from 1% to almost 10% titanium by weight. Among the 89 food products tested, white candies and other white-colored sweets, such as doughnuts, had the highest titanium levels, up to 340 mg per serving. Based on data on the consumption of such sweets from the National Diet and Nutrition Survey in the U.K., the researchers concluded that children consume two to four times as much titanium as adults do.

The team also found using scanning electron microscopy that 36% of the titanium in food was in nanoparticle form, with particles measuring less than 100 nm. Based on those observations, Westerhoff says food sources likely account for the vast majority of titanium nanoparticles discharged into the environment by wastewater treatment plants. Researchers next need to understand the health risks posed by this nanoscale fraction, he says.

Chemical & Engineering News
ISSN 0009-2347
Copyright © American Chemical Society
B.A. McClintock (January 28, 2012 9:44 PM)
The millions of us disabled with MCS have been complaining about this additive for many years. The majority of us have adverse reactions to anything, even "health" supplements, that contain even minute quantities of this ingredient. The powers that be have continually ignored our warnings. Hopefully awareness is forthcoming.
Thomas Fales (July 21, 2013 10:06 PM)
I broke my leg 20 months ago The fracture required Titanium plates and screws I developed an allergic reaction And severe skin Rashes, Two months ago the titanium plates and screws were removed And I still have a hole in my leg ,It will not heal. Large amounts of fluid We're discharged through the opening in my leg When the titanium was removed There was an abscess not infection but abscessed with fluid in it
I am now very aware Of all the foods The contain Titanium dioxide. I Avoid those foods as much as possible. While doing some more research today I found out that most hip replacements Will eventually fail Due to metallosis. (Metal ion poisoning)
The Titanium dioxide industry is a huge industry. But we must find a way To get this out of our food chain
Charmaine Despres (March 28, 2014 4:22 PM)
i so agree with you !
Susan Eastwood (January 30, 2012 9:53 AM)
Why is it that food products, or any products for that matter, can contain up to 10% of a chemical that has never been tested for it's health effects? Titanium Dioxide appears to be in many common products we eat and use on our bodies, and since it is in candy, doughnuts and other white sweets as well as sunscreen and toothpaste, it is common, and chidren consume more of it. We don't know the risks but we should! This is a perfect example of why we need TSCA reform NOW!
Fran Last (January 14, 2013 11:28 AM)
I completely agree with you!
Jen Huthnance (February 12, 2012 10:31 PM)
I was recently hospitalized for what I believe was too much Tio2 in my body. According to doctors, I'm still a "mystery" but I was able to eliminate around 98% of my health issues by eliminating this (i.e. no makeup, different toothpaste, Tio2 free vitamins, eating only organic fruit and vegetables and meat). I recently had an accidental exposure to it on Wednesday and have gone backwards considerably. Please please please get the research done! Every research paper I have looked up that has been conducted on fish and mice has DNA changes and death in the future of these animals... why on earth do we allow it in our foods and other products without the prober research. This comes from a mother with two small children who dearly misses being able to be 100% with my precious bundles. My life has been turned upside down. Anger is just the tip of the iceberg for whoever "allowed" this substance to be exposed to humans without the research.
Thomas Fales (July 21, 2013 10:17 PM)
What was your Accidental exposure? Some candy that has crunchy coating. Good and plenty's. Actually Makes the roof of my mouth sore

Gail Tapio (March 2, 2012 8:23 AM)
Thank you for your posts! I had this 'hazel coconut milk creamer' made by 'SO Delicious.' One of the ingredients is titanium dioxide. So I googled titanium dioxide to see what it was. It sounds like it's not good for our bodies at all! I happened to be drinking a cup of coffee with this creamer in it while googling & dumped it down the drain when I read more about titanium dioxide! So much for safety even at the 'health food' stores! You have to really be on your toes!
SmokyMtnLady (April 9, 2012 3:35 PM)
I have lived for the past 15 years on Social Security Disability because of titanium and titanium dioxide. It depends on which doctor you talk to and which day of the week it is, I am noted as being allergic or sensitive to any product containing titanium. My allergic reaction or sensitive reaction is seizures, muscle weakness and atrophy, dementia weight loss, hair loss, tooth loss and much more. The United States Government by granting me "Social Security Disability" recognized my problem in 1998. When I was first diagnosed, no one, no doctor, not institute, no government acknowledged that anyone would ever have this type of problem. Now, 15 years later, I am glad to see that someone, anyone, anywhere is opening this can of worms for the world to see. I have called myself the "canary in the coalmine". I still believe that is true.

Mine is an extreme case, but what about those who are marginally affected? What guidelines do we use to define marginal and when do we see that the very young and therefore our entire future society will be affected by such products as these? When do we say enough? When will it be too late?
Deborah Cromer (September 10, 2012 10:02 PM)
Sour Patch Watermelon Chewy Candy. Titanium Dioxide? Yuck. Now that I'm reading labels more and more and understanding what all those ingredients that I can't pronounce are, I find myself putting everything back on the shelves. We just eat and eat without being aware of what we are actually ingesting. It's a crime.
Incredulous (February 28, 2013 11:43 AM)
I fail to understand why American business has such carte blanche with the health of the American people. In so many things, from GMOs which study after study has linked to organ disease and failure, to all the synthetic chemicals and nano particles that are put in junk foods to make them taste good. All so that people will continue to buy more of them, thus filling the bank accounts of CEOs and executives (who likely wouldn't touch their own concoctions with a ten foot pole).

And it's not just food, in so many ways big business is giving the finger to people and the environment and getting away with it. Fracking for gas with deadly toxins that end up in the water supply, nuke plants that are allowed to routinely release radiation into the surrounding communities so as to release internal pressure, etc. etc. Why does the government allow this? Where is the EPA and the FDA? Who gave business the right to risk our health and the health of our children? Who died and made these guys King? What's wrong with this country?
Dianne M. Mutersbaugh (June 21, 2013 8:36 PM)
I have been on prescription Omeprazole for stomach pain. In the beginning I was told to take one a day and had no side effects. When I was told to take two a day, I started loosing my hair. When I was told to take four a day, may hair fell out in globs. I had no idea what was causing this until I had to stop taking this medicine because a diet I was placed on by the doctor. Two weeks later my hair stopped falling out. My stomach hurt so bad that I tried Pepcid for five days and again my hair started falling out. I stopped taking this medicine and my hair loss stopped. The ONLY ingredient these two medicines have in common are TITANIUM DIOXIDE.
Charmaine Despres (March 28, 2014 4:21 PM)
this will be short - but to say my son had titanium plates put on his skull post brain surgery after a year in bed with what we thought was chronic fatigue, he had the plates removed after Melisa tested him positive for titanium allergy! he made a 100% recovery until recently when he used a toothpaste which contained C177891 titanium dioxide !( he also took to chewing hard candy gum) the result was horrendous his mouth blistered all over he couldn't eat or swallow fluid, he became dehydrated and was nearly admitted in to hospital - by way of elimination i pieced together what could have caused this - my Gp was at a loss so was my dentist but they recommended him to Maxillo facial finally a man with a brain who thinks outside the box whom agreed this was a violent allergic reaction! my advice to you all is get the melisa test - there after be so very careful what you eat clean your teeth with and clearly notify surgeons of your allergy, rare now but i suspect in the future it will become common hopefully then restrictions will apply to adding toxins to products good luck x
winnie (October 18, 2014 3:47 PM)
Titanium dioxide... Boy O boy! Where do I start?! Im 6weeks pregnant and started getting hyperemesis. An antiemetic was prescribed to me. Some sublingual zofran. I took this twice on the first daywith no improvement in my condition. In fact I felt worse than before. Not only did the vomiting not subside, I got so fatigued and nauseated I was practically bedridden for the day. My whole Gut felt irritated? I suspected the first drug wasnt helping and switched to a second antiemetic doxylamine.. Same feeling of such fatigue, nausea, vomiting persisted.. I assumed it was all due to the hyperemesis and kept taking the drug. By the fourth day I was too sick to even keep up with the medication and mistakenly skipped an evening dose. The next morning I was surprised to find that I was feeling better. So I dutifully swallowed that morning's dose and by noon was violently sick again. This led me to suspect that the drug was making me worse. Today I havent taken the antiemetics and happy to report that Im so much better now! Still have mild morning sickness and bouts of nausea throuout the day but nothing like what i felt while on those drugs.
I think I should also mention I have metal allergies and I think that predesposes me to Titanium Dioxide allergy as well
Sandra (January 19, 2016 4:22 PM)
I have been experiencing dramatic hair loss without any clue why. Then recently had severe abdominal pains after eating two new foods, non-dairy creamer and non-dairy cheesecake. Upon review of ingredients, the common ingredient is titanium dioxide. So I started researching it, discovering that it is also in two of my medications, Armour thyroid and Premarin estrogen. The timing of prescriptions coincide with beginning of hair loss. I am also having low iron ferretin levels, another new condition, which can be caused by leaky gut...which can be caused by the nanoparticle effect of titanium dioxide! Wow! I'm so grateful to all of you who have posted your experiences, this is the only way to get word out to others who are suffering alone with these mystery illnesses. Thanks all and wishing you return to good health. I will change my medications and provide an update about effects on hair loss.

Leave A Comment

*Required to comment