Scientists at the Joint Research Centre (JRC), the scientific service of the European Commission, have studied rats to determine how nanoparticles of titanium dioxide spread throughout the human body.
The team led by Prof. Wolfgang Kreyling of the Helmholtz Institute in Munich administered radiolabeled TiO2 nanoparticles to the rats in three different ways: Through oral exposure by gavage, intratracheal instillation and through direct intravenous injection. No residue at all was found from the injection, oral doses showed a concentration of 0.05% after one week, and the windpipe dose showed a concentration of 0.3% after four weeks.
Although the amounts administered were very small, the researcher found the substance in all organs and in tissues, with the highest concentration in the liver. The findings show that TiO2 nanoparticles can enter the lungs through the digestive tract and the air–blood barrier and then settle in other organs, where they can accumulate. Detailed information on links to scientific publications can be found in the JRC press release.
David Warheit of Chemours, a U.S. and Canadian manufacturer of titanium dioxide, states that results from experiments with animals cannot necessarily be applied to human beings and the portion of nanoparticles within the entire supply of titanium dioxide is very small.
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