Skin absorption of titanium dioxide

I caught a terrible cold from my kiddo and husband, and last week I was unable to write anything useful. I apologize for not posting anything. I really would like to post something every week, but I just can’t do that sometimes.

 

Over the last few weeks I have been doing internet research on Titanium dioxide, and other “minerals” like mica powders. Someone I was chatting with at my kid’s school asked me, “Isn’t titanium dioxide powder dangerous when absorbed through the skin?” and it made me very curious. A lot of… well, I would have to call them hippies, get very caught up in this, “I heard it was bad for you so I avoid it at ALL costs!” idea. One person can start this chain reaction. One person can decide, “I don’t want to use it on MY skin,” so they say something to a friend, or 10 friends, who all tell 10 friends. That’s how it starts. No research, just blind faith. The mentality that you put more trust in what ONE person says to you about something they don’t know anything about really bothers me. I do research. I have been known to go to a library and look through books to find some answers. The internet isn’t always as trust worthy. You can find 10 blog posts, articles or “published scientific studies” to support or not support any idea you might have. I mean, I am writing a blog post about that right now. Speaking of research and blog posts, let’s get down to business.

How does our skin absorb something?

I assume that a lot of people just don’t understand how our skin works. Think of skin like blocks. Like Lego bricks. Each cell is next to and on top of another skin cell. Water can get in-between those blocks. So can salt, bacteria and ultraviolet rays. Anything you put on your skin that is considered a nano particle can potentially get in those areas between your skin cells. Some of those things might make it all the way through those cracks and into your blood stream. Not much and not many of them, most of the products you might use on your skin only penetrates the top layers. Moisturizer, like lotion, only really effects the top layer, maybe as deep as three layers. 

Ionization is a different way your skin can absorb what you put on it. Basically ionization disrupts the tinny building blocks of your cells, atoms. It causes the electrons and protons to separate from the neutrons. Usually the atoms come back together and continue being a regular atom other times the atom is mutated. It can also cause DNA to mutate. Sometimes ionization is what radiation does to your skin cells, like with UVA and UVB rays from the sun. Some minerals can be used and absorbed by ionization from the surface of the skin. Usually the minerals don’t cause free radicals (mutated cells) to form but the ultra violet rays can.

 

Nano particles.

How do nano particles get absorbed through the skin? I’ll tell you this-it’s not through ionization. No electrons or protons are separated from any neutrons. No mutations in skin cells will happen. Nano particles are small enough to slip through the cracks between skin cells. Eventually with enough nano particles build up in your system other cells might be effected, but no extended studies on living mammals has really been conducted. Science seems to have better things to research. I don’t blame science. I have better things to do too. Worrying about nano particles in your sunblock is like wording about your kids getting hit by a car walking to school-it only stresses YOU out. Your kids look both ways and hold hands when crossing, they are doing the best they can, if it happens they took every precaution they could and that wasn’t enough to stop it from happening. Without really knowing what nano particles of titanium dioxide really do in the human body people seem to be getting stressed out about something they can’t control. Either they can go back to school to become a scientist and do the research, or they can just chose not to use the products containing the nano particles.

 

Why use nano particles in sunblock and beauty products?

Nano particles, unlike fine mineral powders, can bend, absorb or reflect UV rays while still appearing clear. Fine powdered titanium dioxide appears white and solid. Ultrafine, or nano particle, powdered titanium dioxide appears clear or transparent. When you go to the beach and you see the surfers with the white goo or powder on their nose, that’s fine or coarse zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. The two minerals create a barrier on the skin that prevents water or UV rays to penetrate your skin cells. Your skins tends to absorb more of the nano particles when combine with a moisturizer, like sunblock. 

 

Is Titanium dioxide safe for you?

In my opinion-Yes, it is safe. Without further studies and research no one, not even the FDA, will really know for sure how titanium dioxide effects our systems. There have been few studies on lab rats and lab mice, but mostly for inhalation of the ultra fine powdered titanium dioxide consistent with an employee in a distillation and production factory of the mineral powder. That sort of information really just lets us know that we should try not to breathe in the powdered mineral, it doesn’t really help us with the skin absorption issue. Whatever damage some nano particles might do to our bodies, the damage the sun’s rays can do is much, much worse and using sunblock with nano particles isn’t that bad of an exchange for preventing skin cancer.

 

This is a site that was very helpful:

http://www.organicmakeup.ca/ca/titaniumdioxide.asp

 

This was a very technical site:

http://toxsci.oxfordjournals.org/content/123/1/264.full

 

This was a…. not very helpful blog post:

http://personalcaretruth.com/2011/01/does-titanium-dioxide-cause-free-radical-damage/

 

This was a very bias article that lacked any kind of useful information that supported their claim, mostly they just took two unrelated outdated lab studies, with no citation or credit, and manipulated the “data” to suit their bias:

http://www.mvorganics.com/blogs/mvo/5913861-how-safe-is-titanium-dioxide

 

Try a Google search about Titanium Dioxide, it may help you make up your mind. Google searched are usually how I find out about new minerals, beauty treatments, food or hygiene items I am curious about.

Good luck with your research, hope I was helpful

-Bobby

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