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Може ли титаниум диоксидот (TiO2) да предизвика рак?

Време:-2020 07 09-

Due to its efficient photo activity, high stability, low cost, and safety to the environment and humans, titanium dioxide (TiO2) have been widely used as a photocatalyst in many environmental and energy applications.


However, more and more discussions about whether it may be harmful to humans or even cause cancer are becoming fierce.


Introduction of TiO2 for photocatalyst


Titanium dioxide is the naturally occurring oxide of titanium having the chemical formula TiO2.

 

While a photocatalyst is a layering factor holding titanium dioxide as its energetic component.

 

An oxidation-reduction chemical reaction takes place when light is exposed to the photocatalyst substance. Air can be disinfected and purified using this chemical reaction.

TiO2

Titanium dioxide (TiO2), as a photocatalyst, has fascinated significant recognition for a long time and is known to be one of the most encouraging materials for commercial use.

 

Several properties like optical and electronic properties, efficient photoactivity, high chemical stability, low cost, nontoxicity (which means safety to the environment and humans), reusability, and eco-friendliness make TiO2 a strong candidate for photocatalyst process.

 

TiO2 is extensively utilized as a photocatalyst in a lot of environmental and energy applications.

 

But, its immense bandgap energy reduces its absorption of solar light.

 

In addition to this, the photocatalytic activity of TiO2 is also decreased by the speedy recombination of the photogenerated electron-hole pairs.

 

When used in water treatment service, TiO2 has bad chemistry towards organic impurities. To reduce the bandgap energy, a number of approaches have been implemented.

 

There are several enhancements to increases the photocatalytic properties of TiO2, for example, Metal doping, Non-metal doping, Co-doping, and tri-doping, Nano-structured TiO2, Nano-carbon modified TiO2, Immobilized TiO2.


Studies on the TiO2 and cancer


TiO2 is labelled as a chemically inactive and safe compound and has been used in many applications for years.

 

With the advancements of nanotechnologies of TiO2, there is a hike in the concerns of the health and the environment. These concerns even have put TiO2 in the category of toxicological components.

 

  • во 2006


The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) deduced that there was insufficient proof to state that TiO2 can cause cancer in humans. They also added that TiO2 might be cancerous for animals, but not for the human. IARC classified titanium dioxide (TiO2) in group 2B, as a substance that is "possibly carcinogenic to humans" and is supposed to be fatal for the breathing system. 


  • во 2017


The French Government’s scientific assessment found that titanium dioxide is a carcinogen when it is inhaled. The conclusion to categorize TiO2 as a potential carcinogen by inhalation is not based on new scientific proofs, but rather reflects an additional precautionary approach to the well-known hazard of breathing too much dust. As a result of this finding, the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) was charged with providing a recommendation to the European Commission on the matter.


  • во 2020


The EU classified titanium dioxide in its powder form as a suspected carcinogen by inhalation under the EU’s Classification and Labelling (CLP) Regulation. This classification is not dependent upon any new research or experimentation about life threatening impacts for humans from TiO2, but on the few years old rat inhalation data and a well-known dust hazard. There is no scientific proof of cancer in humans TiO2. The officials have highlighted in the classification documentation that the doubted damage can occur if dust particles similar to TiO2 powder are inhaled in a higher amount over a longer duration of time.


3. What does TiO2 mean for consumers?


Titanium dioxide, a name that is a little unfamiliar to many ordinary people, is actually almost everywhere in our daily life, whether it is the sunscreen commonly used by ladies, the paint used on the walls at home, or the white color in candy. Titanium dioxide is an important element among them.

 

However, some time ago, the European Union suddenly identified titanium dioxide as a category 2B carcinogen, and this incident immediately set off a huge wave in the world. The sunscreen applied on the face every day is actually "carcinogenic"?

 

To understand this event correctly, we must first understand what a "category 2B carcinogen" is.

 

According to the carcinogenic risk to humans, the IARC (International Agency for Research on Cancer) under the World Health Organization divides the chemicals that have carcinogenic risks to humans into 4 categories:

 

Category 1: It is carcinogenic to humans, with clear carcinogenicity.

 

Category 2A: It is very likely to cause cancer to humans. There is sufficient evidence to prove carcinogenicity to laboratory animals but limited evidence of carcinogenicity to humans.

 

Category 2B: May cause cancer to humans, there is insufficient evidence to prove carcinogenicity to laboratory animals, and insufficient evidence of carcinogenicity to humans.

 

Category 3: The carcinogenicity to humans is not yet classified, and the possibility of carcinogenicity to humans is low.

 

Category 4: It is unlikely to cause cancer to humans.

 

Among them, the so-called 2A category includes "intake of red meat" (pork, lamb, beef), "shift work involving circadian rhythm disruption" (simply speaking, staying up late); and the same category 2B except for "titanium dioxide", There is also "coffee" that everyone drinks daily.

 

In fact, it is not titanium dioxide itself that may actually cause cancer. As long as humans are exposed to high-concentration (for example, 10mg/m3) of insoluble tiny particles for a long time, these tiny particles may indeed cause related diseases after being inhaled into the lungs for a long time. 


But even those who are engaged in the production of titanium dioxide, the concentration of titanium dioxide they can come into contact with is generally only between 0.3mg/m3-6mg/m3, not to mention ordinary consumers?

 

What's more, when titanium dioxide is processed, especially nano-sized titanium dioxide, it is firmly embedded in the molecular gap of the carrier (such as air conditioning filter), and it can't be washed off. How can it run into the human lungs?

 

Therefore, please do not over-interpret the EU's carcinogen label for titanium dioxide.


· TiO2 is proved to be safe for humans and it is being used in a lot of industries like paints and coatings, plastics, adhesives and rubber, cosmetics products, paper, food contact materials and ingredients.


· Seeing its various applications in daily life routine, TiO2 is also added in the air conditioner filters which are so common in the globally warmed Earth, and it is proved to be safe the consumers.


· Though it is proved to be safe for humans, however, inhaling high concentration of TiO2 for a long duration can be fatal and hazardous for health. Working in a mine containing high amount of TiO2 for ten years could be life threatening to a human health.


· TiO2 can also irritate the nose and the throat. If came in contact with the skin directly, it might cause mild irritation. It may also cause a little annoyance if contacted with the eye. Tearing, blinking and slight pain which is temporary, may appear as TiO2 particles are cleaned from the eye by tears.


· TiO2 is chemically stable and not flammable. It can also be used as fire extinguisher.


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