Classification of titanium dioxide – Impact on waste

The European Commission has classified certain forms of titanium dioxide (TiO2) as a suspected carcinogen (category 2) by inhalation. The classification will apply from 1 October 2021. Only TiO2 in powder form, containing greater-than or equal to 1% of particles with aerodynamic diameter less-than or equal to 10 µm, will be classified.

Members of the TDMA have appealed against the classification, requesting its annulment. Despite this appeal, TDMA members are committed to complying with the classification and labelling obligations and are preparing new extended safety datasheets (eSDS) to include updated information about exposure assessment and labelling.

The EU’s classification of TiO2 is more complex than typical classifications because it is unique to inhalation and contains several notes intended to limit its scope. For this reason, the TDMA has published a draft interpretation of the classification on its website that downstream users of TiO2 may find helpful.

The TDMA has received questions about the implications of the classification for waste containing TiO2. The European Commission has been very clear that waste containing TiO2 will be classified as hazardous only if that substance is in the form or physical state referred to in the respective entry in Annex VI to the CLP Regulation, i.e. in powder form¹.

On 3 December 2020, the Commission launched a targeted public consultation for an amendment to the Commission’s technical guidance on the classification of waste 2018-C 124-01 to cover specific case classification. The draft amendment confirms that the form/physical state of the waste must be taken into account when determining the classification of that waste.

The TDMA supports the draft amendment to the technical guidance and considers it important that it is adopted quickly and well in advance of 1 October 2021, when the new classification applies.

TDMA members expect that the Member States will follow the guidance published by the European Commission when determining if waste should be classified as hazardous. As waste legislation is principally enacted at a local level by the individual Member States, it is vital that national regulators follow the Commission’s technical guidance. Where the guidance is not followed, a number of waste streams could be interpreted as hazardous resulting in negative consequences for recycling initiatives and the circular economy. The TDMA will continue to provide updates on the classification of TiO2.

Download the statement.


¹Answer given by Commissioner Vella to the European Parliament E-000925/2019 – 16 May 2019