TiO2 is Titanium Dioxide, a chemical that has many industrial uses such as in paints, adhesives, floors, roofing materials, and even cosmetics. TiO2 requires strong sunlight (in particular, the UV components of sunlight) to effectively eliminate microbes. As such, the technology’s utility has primarily been on outdoor surfaces. However, in recent months, manufacturers of ceramic and glass products have increasingly uitilised a new variant of TiO2. By doping TiO2 with additional chemicals, they claim that surfaces treated with this new chemistry can, under room lighting (and even, in some cases, in the dark), kill microbes, including bacteria and viruses. Here, we list out four key concerns related to TiO2 variants and the related marketing claims.
The application of TiO2 solutions in surfaces meant for the indoor built environment is disquieting based on major concerns over the health and safety of both workers in the manufacturing and construction arenas, and ultimately building/home occupants.