Titanium dioxide, a compound whose toxicity remains unclear, is an ingredient found in many sunscreens. Researchers now say the chemical can be absorbed by human skin. Titanium dioxide is a fine, white powder, used in sunscreens because of its ability to reflect and scatter ultraviolet light. The compound's full effects on human health are still under investigation. The U.S. government's National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) labels the chemical "a potential occupational carcinogen."
Skin & Allergy News (February 1997, p. 15)