Judgment by the General Court of the European Union on the classification of titanium dioxide will be appealed

The European Commission has informed the Titanium Dioxide Manufacturers Association (TDMA) that it has appealed the judgment of the General Court of the European Union of 23 November 2022 concerning titanium dioxide (TiO2). The French Government has also announced that it will appeal in a press release published on 13 February 2023. The European Commission is the Defendant and France has the right, as a Member State, to bring an appeal.

This judgment ruled that the European Commission had wrongly classified certain powder forms of TiO2 as a suspected carcinogen category 2 by inhalation and annulled the classification. The well-reasoned and detailed judgment found that an error had been made in the Commission’s assessment of the reliability and acceptability of the study on which the classification was based, and that a classification can only apply to a substance that has the intrinsic property to cause cancer.

The appeal to the European Court of Justice (ECJ) can only be made on well-founded points of law and this process normally takes 1 to 2 years. In practice, this means that the classification will remain in place until the end of the appeal process.

The TDMA Members are disappointed about this appeal as the judgment brought much needed clarity to a complex area which was beneficial for all parties. The TDMA Members will continue to vigorously defend the case. The TDMA is also requesting that related regulatory processes currently being undertaken by the EU authorities be halted pending the outcome of the appeal.

The TDMA provides supporting information about the interpretation and application of the classification on its website.

The TDMA continues to put the safety of workers in the TiO2 industry first. To this end it has conducted long-term studies on the exposure of workers to TiO2 and has produced guidance on best practices for safe use. The TDMA also has a relentless focus on the science of the safety of TiO2. This includes a robust proactive science programme commissioning new studies using the latest guidelines and scientific techniques at leading universities and research organisations. The findings from this programme continue to show that TiO2 is safe, which is in line with recent opinions from authorities in other regions.

Updated on 20 February 2023 with new information.