Stringent Environmental Regulations Restrict Usage of Titanium Dioxide : TMR

Titanium dioxide is largely manufactured through sulphate and chloride processes from raw materials such as rutile and ilmenite. The white coloured, inorganic chemical displays poor solubility and high thermal stability, and hence, is used across a number of end-use industries. The global titanium dioxide market is anticipated to expand at a CAGR of 3.7% during the period from 2015 to 2023. The overall market was worth US$12.18 bn in 2014 and is projected to reach a valuation of US$16.79 bn by 2023.

What is the key factor impeding the growth of the global titanium dioxide market?

The growing concerns over the impact of titanium dioxide on human health and environment have led to the implementation of stringent environmental regulations regarding the usage of the chemical. This is expected to hinder the growth of the global titanium dioxide market.

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The French Agency for Food, Environment, and Occupational Health and Safety has put forward a proposal to label titanium dioxide as a potential carcinogen. The chemical is often used as a pigment in a number of food and consumer products. If titanium dioxide is labelled as a carcinogen under European Union’s toxic substances regulatory rules, it would restrict the usage of the chemical in consumer products. The usage of titanium dioxide in food and consumer products has raised concerns about its impact on human health. Dunkin’ Donuts had decided to remove titanium dioxide as a whitening agent from their powdered sugar formula last year. The current proposal to label titanium dioxide as a carcinogen has raised staunch opposition from the manufacturers who have stated that the workers in titanium dioxide manufacturing plants display no adverse health effects from exposure to the chemical.

How are the rapidly expanding automobile and construction industries defining the future of the global titanium dioxide market?

The rising demand for lightweight automobiles has propelled the growth of the global titanium dioxide market. Consumers are increasingly preferring low-emission and fuel-efficient vehicles. Though polycarbonate is used extensively in the production of lightweight vehicles, it has low scratch resistance. Titanium coatings offer high scratch resistance and hence, are ideal for coating applications in the automobile sector. In the construction sector, titanium dioxide is used in building materials and reportedly helps to neutralize elements of air pollution. However, the paints and coatings, and plastics industries are anticipated to majorly contribute towards the growth of the market in the coming years.

It has been observed that the rapid expansion of the automobile and construction sectors in Asia Pacific has led to the growth of the titanium dioxide market in the region. In fact, Asia Pacific is pegged to emerge as the fastest growing region in the market in the years to come. As a result, major players in the market are focussing on this regional market.

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