On 10th June 2022, the European Commission (EC) published a revised EU Recommendation for the definition of nanomaterial.
The new recommendation removes the uncertainty and the common misconception that all TiO2 is a nanomaterial. This improves the simpler and more transparent implementation and ensures consistency across legislation applying this definition.
A key point in that the revised definition still includes that 50% or more of the particles in the number size distribution is in the size range 1 nm-100 nm but removes the possibility that the threshold of 50% may be replaced by a threshold between 1 and 50% if warranted.
Titanium dioxide (TiO2) is commonly associated with nanomaterials but around 99% sold is non-nano pigmentary TiO2. This is because the diameter to scatter visible light and provide the whiteness as a pigment is in the range of 200-350 nm. This makes TiO2 such as essential ingredient in products such as paints, plastics and paper. In this size range, more than 50% of the particles by number are greater than 100 nm and therefore it does not meet the EU recommendation for a nanomaterial. Typically, 1% of the TiO2 sold meets the definition of a nanomaterial and that is used in very specialised applications.