European Union: Proposed amendment to titanium dioxide labelling

In April 2019 the Special Rapporteur addressed a letter to the European Commission (OL OTH 21/2019) expressing concern about a proposed amendment to a regulation on titanium dioxide labelling that would result in certain forms of titanium dioxide being exempt from a requirement of cancer warnings.

Robust labeling needed to explain health risks of titanium dioxide

According to the International Agency for Cancer Research (IARC) of the World Health Organization, titanium dioxide, which is found in some common household products such as sun screen, food colouring and paints, is recognized as a possible carcinogen to humans. The Special Rapporteur expressed deep concern about withholding information from workers, consumers, and the general public about titanium dioxide's suspected cancer-causing properties, which would deprive them of essential information that is their human right.

The Special Rapporteur also called out the private sector and the alleged failure of certain business interests, including the Titanium Dioxide Manufacturers Association (TDMA) and its members, to fully respect human rights in their dealings.

He went on to identify the European Commission's need to better integrate human rights considerations in the management of toxic chemicals and wastes more generally, and welcomed the opportunity to discuss these matters.

Read the letter to the European Commission (OL OTH 21/2019)

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