TikTok users are gaining popularity by spreading false claims that Titanium Dioxide in tampons causes cancer, despite the fact that there is no evidence that it does.
- A viral TikTok video is spreading the myth that titanium dioxide, an ingredient found in tampons on occasion, can cause cancer.
- Though some research has found a link between the chemical and cancer in mice, there is no evidence that the chemical can cause cancer in humans.
- People should not be concerned about the use of titanium dioxide in tampons, according to health experts.
- A TikTok video is spreading misinformation about titanium dioxide, an ingredient found in tampons from time to time.
A TikTok video is spreading misinformation about titanium dioxide, an ingredient found in tampons from time to time.
There is no proof that titanium dioxide, a naturally occurring mineral used in many cosmetic products, causes cancer in humans.
Some evidence suggests that inhaling titanium dioxide may be carcinogenic; however, this has only been observed in mice, not humans.
“This is an example of pseudoscience,” said Dr. Ryan Marino, a medical toxicologist and assistant professor at Case Western Reserve University.
What is titanium dioxide?
Titanium dioxide is a naturally occurring mineral in the Earth’s crust.
It’s widely used in medications, foods, and cosmetics such as mineral sunscreen.
Titanium dioxide is used as a bleaching agent to make materials whiter, according to Dr. Kecia Gaither, an OB/GYN and maternal fetal medicine physician and Director of Perinatal Services/Maternal Fetal Medicine at NYC Health + Hospitals/Lincoln.
“Because titanium dioxide is found in so many everyday products, it’s very likely that we are all exposed to it on a regular basis,” says Dr. Kelly Johnson-Arbor, a medical toxicologist and co-medical director of the National Capital Poison Center.
Titanium dioxide has recently come under scrutiny following a California-based lawsuit alleging that Skittles, which contain titanium dioxide, are harmful to our health.
With some restrictions, the Food and Drug Administration allows the use of titanium dioxide for food coloring.
Other countries, including the European Union, have prohibited the additive due to potential health risks.
What research has discovered about titanium dioxide
According to Johnson-Arbor, no medical studies have been conducted to determine whether titanium dioxide in tampons causes cancer.
Gaither claims that due to a lack of data on the chemical, little is known about the potential risks associated with titanium dioxide.
According to the Internal Agency for Research on Cancer, which investigates the potential causes of cancer, titanium dioxide is possibly carcinogenic to humans, according to Johnson-Arbor.
This is because animal studies on rodents have linked titanium dioxide inhalation to lung cancer.
According to Johnson-Arbor, extrapolating those findings to human cancer cell growth is difficult.
“Ingestion of (eating) massive amounts of titanium dioxide has shown inflammation in mice, although only at levels that majorly exceed any current human food use, and, again, there is no evidence that this happens in humans,” Marino said.
What is the danger?
According to Johnson-Arbor, most people should not be concerned about getting cancer from titanium dioxide-containing foods, cosmetics, or household products.
TikTok and other social media platforms are also untrustworthy sources of medical information.
If you are concerned about the potential health effects of a particular product or chemical, you should consult with a medical professional.
“Titanium dioxide is a widely used, almost ubiquitous mineral that has been well studied, and the evidence does not show that human uses are unsafe,” Marino explained.
A viral TikTok video is spreading the myth that titanium dioxide, an ingredient found in tampons on occasion, can cause cancer.
Though some research has found a link between the chemical and cancer in mice, there is no evidence that the chemical can cause cancer in humans.
People should not be concerned about the use of titanium dioxide in tampons, according to health experts.