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March 11, 2021

France Recommends OELs for Titanium Dioxide Nanoparticles

Lynn L. Bergeson Carla N. Hutton

On March 4, 2021, the French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health and Safety (ANSES) announced that it is recommending an eight-hour occupational exposure limit (OEL) of 0.80 micrograms per cubic meter (µg/m3) for titanium dioxide nanoparticles.  According to ANSES, compliance with this value “should help prevent lung inflammation, an effect that occurs at the lowest exposure concentrations.”  Due to the lack of available data on the immediate or short-term effects of titanium dioxide nanoparticles, in accordance with its methodological guide, ANSES states that it also recommends not exceeding the concentration of 4.0 µg/m3 over a 15-minute period.  Compliance with this value should help limit the size and number of exposure peaks over the working day, according to ANSES.

ANSES notes that an expert appraisal on the assessment of methods for measuring titanium dioxide nanoparticles in air is currently under way.  ANSES states that this will determine which method(s) to use to measure titanium dioxide nanoparticle concentrations in air in view of the OELs it recommended.  In addition, ANSES states, the studies it requested when assessing titanium dioxide under the Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) regulation “should enable these values to be further refined.”

The press release is also available in French.