Ingredient Inquiry: Titanium Dioxide
Posted on 05 July 2015
If you read the ingredient lists for our shaving soap or bath soap, you'll see Titanium Dioxide listed toward the end. A few people have questioned its presence in our ingredient list and since we want our customers to be educated about the choices they're making with our products and because we are intentional in our ingredient selection, I wanted to share about the "what and why" behind this substance.
Titanium Dioxide is a naturally occurring mineral which is typically mined and processed to remove impurities. It is an FDA-approved ingredient (also approved by the EU) used in consumer products including cosmetics, food, and paints and is also widely-used in sunscreen. For our purposes, we utilize it as a whitener in some of our soaps and it is also a component in some of our colorants.
Despite its approval and acceptance as a safe pigment/colorant, there is still some controversy surrounding the use of titanium dioxide. After extensive research, we do not feel these concerns pose any significant risk of harm to you as a consumer or to us as creators/manufacturers. The two main issues that are typically raised by opponents to titanium dioxide (TD) include potential lung damage due to inhalation and the possible skin/cell absorption of TD that is of nano particle size. In regards to the latter issue, the TD that we use is not nano particle (meaning that the particle size of our TD is larger than the type that is in question). In reference to the concern regarding lung damage, this controversy stems from a study by Lee, Trochimowicz, & Reinheardt in June of 1985. Rats that were exposed to TD for 6 hours a day, 5 days a week, over the course of 2 years showed signs of increased respiratory and lung problems, specifically for rats exposed to the highest level of TD inhalation. However, it was concluded that "the biological relevance....for man is negligible." (Read the abstract here.)
What, then, does all this mean in regards to Soap Commander's decision to use titanium dioxide? It means that we've read the MSDS for TD, explored both sides of the issue, contemplated and assimilated all of the information, and feel confident in continuing the inclusion of TD in our products. We do also want to reiterate that the amount of TD in our soap is very, very low in relation to the other ingredients and is used far below the recommended, authorized percentages in product formulation.
If you are interested in reading additional information regarding titanium dioxide in cosmetics, here are a few articles you might find helpful and informative: "Titanium Dioxide: Toxic or Safe?" and Soap Queen's Sunday Night Spotlight focusing on TD. And if you enjoy munching on Dunkin' Donuts, you might find this link enlightening, regarding the prevalence of TD in many foods (it does not even need to be listed as an ingredient if used at less than 1%, so it may be in your bread, mayonnaise or chocolate bar.)
If you ever have a question regarding the safety or purpose of any of the ingredients we use, please let us know. We take your health and safety seriously and desire that you not only feel comfortable with using our products, but that you are also educated and informed on the ingredients that go into each item we make.