Is titanium dioxide safe to eat? Fresh research raises concerns over E171 Menu Back to Back to Back to Back to Back to Back to Send Follow us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Follow us on LinkedIn Send contact Email to a friend Facebook Twitter Linkedin Tip a friend

Titanium dioxide, colouring E171, is included on the list of permitted EU food additives and this week the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) again issued an opinion that the common ingredient is safe for human consumption. In 2016, EFSA said that available data on E171 in food showed absorption levels were “extremely low”​ and that its use as an additive “does not raise a genotoxic concern”.​ And while the UN’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has classified titanium dioxide as a possible human carcinogen, EFSA stated that it is not carcinogenic after oral administration. E171 is a colouring used in over 900 food products, from confectionery and baked goods to sauces such as mayonnaise. It is used to achieve a white, opaque or cloudy colour. The food safety body reaffirmed this opinion first in 2018 and then again last week, stating that no new evidence has come to light to prompt a change of course. Responding to a parliamentary question in February, Vytenis Andriukairis, European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, stated: “The Commission considers that there are currently no grounds to apply precautionary measures regarding the authorisation of E17...

SCREEN TEST▶ Generally speaking, wearing any sunscreen is better than none at all. But many products

SCREEN TEST▶ Generally speaking, wearing any sunscreen is better than none at all. But many products come with ingredients that are bad for you, says the Environmental Working Group, a nonprofit health-research organization. Look for titanium dioxide or zinc oxide on your sunscreen’s list of active ingredients. If it lists anything other than those two things, don’t say we didn’t warn you. SPRAY AWAY▶ Good news for golfers: For years, physical blockers titanium dioxide and zinc oxide could be found only in lotion form. But several companies now offer these effective and highly recommended screens in sprays, making it more convenient for golfers to cover skin and reapply often. One caveat: Do not inhale while applying. These products might contain nanoparticles that are thought to cause lung cancer if breathed in large doses. Our picks: Honest Mineral Sunscreen Spray SPF 30 ($14); Bare Republic Mineral SPF 40 Sport Sunscreen Spray ($16). ROCK THAT NEON▶ All clothing offers some protection from ultraviolet rays. However, some do a better job than others. Vibrant colors offer a higher ultraviolet protection factor, or UPF, than dull ones, for example. And a new sh...