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The Personal Care Products Council (PCPC) has alerted members that it anticipates the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) to issue its final monograph on titanium dioxide (TiO2). Should the IARC not change its current position on the material, TiO2 will be subject to California's Proposition 65. Thus, the PCPC urges the personal care industry to contact Gov. Jerry Brown's transition team immediately.
IARC found that industrial exposure to TiO2 during the chemical's manufacture presents a risk and has labeled the chemical a possible carcinogen. Althought the IARC monograph on TiO2 is still in draft form, it is expected to be finalized at any time. If the group maintains this position, California's Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) must list titanium dioxide as a carcinogen under Proposition 65.
This listing would be carried out through the Labor Code mechanism, which does not allow for substantive scientific challenges or "qualified" listings. As such, options for challenging the TiO2 listing are limited and it would not allow for a qualified listing that could exempt cosmetic uses. The OEHHA could also list the ingredient in Proposition 65 through a proceeding, which would provide public notice and allow for public comments.
The PCPC encourages the industry to alert the transition team that this listing will have a profound effect on the food and drug industry. It also stresses that industry professionals should note there are substantial scientific and legal issues to be addressed regarding any such listing, which must be resolved. The PCPC adds that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the use of TiO2 in foods, drugs, cosmetics and many other products; and the FDA has concluded that use of TiO2 in OTC products, such as sunscreens, is generally recognized as safe and effective. The PCPC concluded that TiO2 is an important sunscreen active ingredient, especially in sunscreens formulated for sensitive skin, and is a vital part in consumer protection from skin cancer.
When contacting the transition team, the Independent Cosmetic Manufacturers and Distributors (ICMAD) suggests that individuals request the listing be conducted through a proceeding, where the public can comment, rather than through the Labor Code mechanism.