EU Court annuls titanium dioxide classification as carcinogen

In a remarkable judgment the EU General Court overturns the harmonised classification of titanium dioxide as a carcinogenic substance.

In 2020, the European Commission adopted a harmonised classification and labelling of titanium dioxide and recognised that the substance was suspected of being carcinogenic to humans by inhalation. 

In three joined cases brought to court by companies representing manufacturers, importers, downstream users and suppliers of titanium dioxide, the General Court calls the adopted regulation from 2020 a manifest error. 

Error in assessment of reliability and acceptability 
The judgment by the General Court is based on two findings in the scientific study on which the classification was based:

  • In the first place, the requirement to base the classification of a carcinogenic substance on reliable and acceptable studies was not satisfied.
  • In the second place, the classification and labelling infringed the criterion according to which the classification of a substance as carcinogenic can apply only to a substance that has the intrinsic property to cause cancer. This was not rendered plausible in the scientific study.

Read more in the press release from the Court of Justice of the European Union

The Court has annulled the harmonised classification and labelling with immediate effect.

For further information on carcinogenic substances, please contact:

Brian Svend Nielsen 
Tel +45 4516 9140