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Is Titanium in Sunscreen Safe?


 
A reader asked Well: Are nanoparticles of titanium in sunscreen safe?
Yes, you can slather on the sunscreen in the summer. Here’s why: Titanium dioxide or TiO2 is a mineral. It’s used in a lot of makeup products and sunscreens because it absorbs radiation from sunlight. It’s added to these products in nanoparticle form.
Nanoparticles are so tiny, it’s even hard to imagine. To give you an idea, a human hair is approximately 80,000 to 100,000 nanometers wide; a speck of household dust is about 3,000 to 9,000 nanometers across; and a titanium particle in sunscreen is just 100 nanometers.
So the worry is that, because they are so small, they might seep through the skin and into the bloodstream.
While titanium dioxide has been classified as a potential carcinogen, research has largely dismissed the concerns about absorption. Also, most manufacturers now coat nanoparticles with a substance that makes them bigger; thus less likely to be absorbed.
The FDA requires manufacturers to tell you if sunscreen has TiO2 in it but not whether if it’s in nanoparticle form. Still, if the label says it contains titanium dioxide, chances are it has nanoparticles.
By the way, more recent worries focus on whether titanium nanoparticles promote skin aging; a kind of ironic question for sunscreen. Scientists say you probably don’t need to worry, but there is room for further research.

Source: VOA

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