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May 27, 2020

EU NanoSafety Cluster Publishes Final Report of (nano) TiO2 Safety Communication Task Force

Lynn L. Bergeson Carla N. Hutton

On May 26, 2020, the European Union (EU) NanoSafety Cluster announced the publication of the final report of the (nano) TiO2 safety communication Task Force.  The goal of the task force was to provide scientific input to the ongoing classification of titanium dioxide (TiO2).  The Task Force ran from January 2018 to January 2019, collecting information regarding the classification of TiO2 and information on TiO2 hazard potential from available scientific literature.  According to the final report, to understand and document the current state of the science on lung particle overload, a workshop was held in Edinburgh, Scotland, in April 2019 to solicit opinions from an Expert Panel on the definition of poorly soluble, low-toxicity particles (PSLT); lung particle overload; and, the human relevance of the rat lung response.  The final report states that the Expert Panel on PSLTs provided important guidance for conducting and interpreting PSLT inhalation toxicology studies.  Task Force members suggest that the final paper and the expert opinion from the PSLT workshop be used as relevant scientific documents when communicating about PSLT inhalation toxicity.  Given the ongoing discussion on the classification and safety of other PSLTs, the final paper states that “it would be important to re-activate the public debate including experts and stakeholders.”  The final paper notes that there “is even a lack of a clear definition of PSLTs.”  The final paper concludes that an open discussion would serve to document formally where scientific consensus and differences exist and could form the basis for the design of future safety assessments and decisions.