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Whats the big deal with Titanium Dioxide?

I get asked the question a lot.

Why no titanium dioxide? What’s so bad about titanium dioxide??

It's in everything so surely, its safe??

 

The Scientific Facts

"On absorption of UV light, photo-generated titanium dioxide particles create singlet oxygen, superoxide anions (O2-) and hydroxyl radicals (OH-) that are potent free radicals (1,2). Irradiated particles of titanium dioxide can induce oxidative damage to DNA (2) which can lead to the development of mutant cells and skin cancers (3,4,5,6) and lipid peroxidation of essential functions on the cell membrane (7)."

Dr Peter  Dingle (BEd, BSc, PhD)

 (1) Konaka et al. 1999. (2) Serpone et al. 2006. (3) Brezova et al. 2004. (4) Dunford et al. 1997. (5) Warner et al. 1997. (6) Salinaro et al. 1997. (7) Maness et al. 1999.

The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has identified Titanium Dioxide as a Group 2B Carcinogen - an agent that is “possibly carcinogenic” to humans but lacks sufficient human research.(1) 
Friends of the Earth revealed new testing results from the Australian Government’s National Measurement Institute, which found that many popular sunscreen and cosmetic products are using a potentially hazardous form -- anatase titanium dioxide. Six of the eight products tested, including well-known brands such as Nivea, L'Oreal, and CoverGirl, were found to contain this ingredient. (2) 
Titanium Dioxide in nanoparticles form has been found to be absorbed by intestinal cells and leading to oxidative stress and cancer growth internally.(3) (4) (5)

 

New Safety Rulings & Regulations

 France's ban on the food additive Titanium Dioxide (E171) took effect on January 1st, meaning products containing the whitening and opacity agent can no longer be sold in France. (6)
The classification of Titanium Dioxide by the European Commission ensures products containing Titanium Dioxide are clearly labelled as potentially carcinogenic(like cigarettes here in Australia).
The Regulation sets out a requirement ofcancer warning labels for mixtures in powder form containing 1% or more of titanium dioxide particles with an aerodynamic diameter of ≤ 10 µm. Although other forms and mixtures do not fall under this classification, there are specific warnings that need to be applied to those that contain more than 1% of titanium dioxide.
However, under Cosmetic Regulation (EC) No 1223/2009, a substance classified as a CMR substance of category 2, under Regulation (EC) No 1272/2008, isprohibited for use in cosmetic products, unless an exemption applies. That means sunscreen products and other cosmetic products which contain titanium dioxide and pose a risk of inhalation by the consumer may not be allowed on the EU market. (7)

But what does that really mean for you, your skin & your health

To put this all into context maybe we should go back to the beginning & Bluescope steel who make all of our lovely Australian colour bond iron roofs.

You see sometime ago, before they changed their warranty to exclude sunscreen damage, Bluescope Steel were getting countless warranty claims for peeling paint. All curiously shaped in fingerprint patterns around the edge of their metal sheets. This was a little perplexing & financially worrying for the bosses at Bluescope steel so they got some clever scientists to test the damaged roof sheets.

Those scientists found that sunscreen residue on the roof installers fingertips were being transferred to the colour bond sheets during installation & with titanium dioxide’s photo-sensitivity & the lovely sun’s help, the paint was literally peeling off those roofs.

Bluescope Steel now specifically mention sunscreen & titanium dioxide use in their warranty so they no longer have to pay out for the damage caused by a little bit of transferred sunscreen residue.

Now if your an Aussie, I am sure you have seen the Bluescope Steel add about how it stands up to the test of time & the elements – but a little bit of titanium dioxide & it’s all over!!!

Now imagine the delicate skin on your face, on your children’s arms & legs. Each day un-knowingly, thinking we are doing the right thing, we slather them up with titanium dioxide in the form of sunscreen & send them out into the sun, all the while never knowing that once exposed to light titanium dioxide creates free radicals that are strong enough to damage steel roofing panels!!

It doesn’t take much to imagine what they must be doing to our poor skin each day as we layer on our sunscreen, foundation, concealers, eyeshadows & lip sticks which all contain large doses of titanium dioxide.

For this reason alone, its time to ditch the Titanium Dioxide & give your skin a break from the relentless free radical damage. 

But if thats not quite enough..............


Why all of a sudden is there so much interest in the safety of Titanium Dioxide?

Researchers from France and Luxembourg gave E171 (the much more food friendly name for Titanium Dioxide) in Europe and the United States, to lab rats in their drinking water for 100 days.

Of those rats, 40 per cent of the exposed rodents developed “preneoplastic lesions” or precancerous growths. The Titanium Dioxide also inhibited the immune systems of the rats and “accelerated” the growth of the lesions. France’s INRA agricultural research institute, which took part in the study, said in a statement.“These results demonstrate a role in initiating and promoting the early stages of colorectal cancer formation,” though it said no conclusion could be drawn about later phases of cancer, or of any danger to humans……….(not till they test it on us!!)

The results of the study were published in the Nature journal Scientific Reports.

The alarming fact of this study is that it was only conducted for 100 days, I have been wearing makeup daily for at least the last fifteen years & would have eaten kilo's of lipstick in my life time - what effects has this had on my system & health??

Reacting to the report, France’s ministers of health, agriculture and economy instructed the country’s food health and safety agency, Anses, to investigate whether the additive poses a risk for human health.

The study was said to be prompted by “growing concerns that daily oral… Intake is associated with an increased risk of chronic intestinal inflammation and carcinogenesis”, or cancer formation”.


This study & others have lead France to ban Titanium Dioxide as a Food Additive.

But this is just the tip of the ice berg so many articles & studies are coming out challenging the safety of Titanium Dioxide in our food supply & personal care products.

The Sydney Morning Herald reported on the finding of nano particles in our food supply here in Australia, despite no testing every carried out on the safety of these products by our food safety body.

Professor Thomas Faunce spoke out about the rise in auto-immune diseases & childhood autism in relation to the rise of nano-particles in our child food supply. The full article can be found here.

But despite all these cries of alarm, five years on from the original study no further testing into the safety of Titanium Dioxide in our food supply has been carried out here in Australia.

 

So what does this have to do with you?

Well asides from making you re-think that M & M addiction (chocolate coated in Titanium Dioxide…..anyone?!)
Titanium Dioxide in makeup is unsafe

Titanium dioxide is found in pretty much all makeup & sunscreen.

And studies have long shown that products applied to the skin end up in the bloodstream within half an hour. With penetration rates depending on where they are applied. Absorption rates for your face & scalp are 5-10 times higher than on other parts of our body (Hotchkiss 1994).

Not to mention that in 2005, the Environmental Working Group published a combination of two studies that found toxic chemicals in the umbilical cord blood of newborn babies born in the U.S. They screened for more than 400 chemicals, and an astounding 287 toxins were detected within the umbilical cord blood of these newborns. Of these 287 chemicals, 217 were neurotoxins, and 208 are known to damage growth development or cause birth defects.


Ultimately, it comes down to whether you want to take the risk of having Titanium Dioxide in your blood stream?

We have long been passionate about avoiding exposure to Titanium Dioxide & are proud that our products offer a safe alternative to Women everywhere. We strongly urge you to ditch your toxic, unsafe makeup & find a safer alternative.

Because beauty should never come at the price of your health.

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