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24. Sep 2019 | Raw materials

Majority of EU countries vote against Commission proposal on titanium dioxide classification

In an expert hearing (CARACAL) last week, several EU Member States rejected the classification of titanium dioxide as carcinogenic. However, the Commission has announced that it will continue the process anyway.

titanium dioxide eu commission

A qualified majority of the EU member states has spoken out against the current proposal of the EU Commission on titanium dioxide. (Photo: MoiraM -

A total of nine EU Member States have rejected the regulatory package for various reasons. However, it is not the case that the rejecting countries all reject the classification for the same reasons. There are, for example, countries that tend to reject labelling in principle, but there are also a few that regard labelling as too lax.

On the other hand, six Member States voted in favour. The Commission's current proposal provides that liquid mixtures should not be labelled, but powder coatings should be.

Commission to go on alone

Under new procedural rules, however, the Commission can also decide on the classification itself without the agreement of the Member States, which it probably intends to do. It remains controversial, however, whether the EU Commission is obliged to carry out a prior impact assessment, as the industry demands. Industry representatives criticised in particular the unintended consequences of the classification. In the meantime, there is increasing pressure on the Commission to first analyse the consequences of classification. An appeal has been signed by 300 companies and associations. 

According to a recent announcement by the German Press Agency (dpa), the Commission plans to take the formal decision as early as October. After that, the industry would be granted at least 20 months' notice to implement the obligation. 

Event tips

The current state of titanium dioxide regulation will be one topic at the European Coatings Regulatory Forum on 27 – 28 October in Brussels, Belgium.

Even more about titanium dioxide will be discussed at the European Coatings Titanium Dioxide Forum on 28 – 29 January 2020.

EC Library Titanium Dioxide


Titanium Dioxide

Titanium Dioxide (2nd Revised Edition) Production, Properties and Effective Usage This second, completely revised edition contains a wealth of information on the properties and use of titanium dioxide pigments. It gives the reader a comprehensive insight into how titanium dioxide works and its possible applications, as well as discussing the current state of development and its use in various forms for UV absorbers, effect pigments and catalytic materials. Practitioners will especially welcome the fact that Chapter 4 now includes information on the scope for, and limitations on, replacing titanium dioxide pigments in formulations.


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