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Toxicity of Nano-Titanium Dioxide (TiO2-NP) Through Various Routes of Exposure: a Review

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Farhat Jabeen, Dr Muhammad Khan, Dr Abdul ChaudhryORCiD


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Nano-titanium dioxide (TiO2) is one of the most commonly used materials being synthesized for use as one of the top five nanoparticles. Due to the extensive application of TiO2 nanoparticles and their inclusion in many commercial products, the increased exposure of human beings to nanoparticles is possible. This exposure could be routed via dermal penetration, inhalation and oral ingestion or intravenous injection. Therefore, regular evaluation of their potential toxicity and distribution in the bodies of exposed individuals is essential. Keeping in view the potential health hazards of TiO2 nanoparticles for humans, we reviewed the research articles about studies performed on rats or other mammals as animal models. Most of these studies utilized the dermal or skin and the pulmonary exposures as the primary routes of toxicity. It was interesting that only very few studies revealed that the TiO2 nanoparticles could penetrate through the skin and translocate to other tissues, while many other studies demonstrated that no penetration or translocation could happen through the skin. Conversely, the TiO2 nanoparticles that entered through the pulmonary route were translocated to the brain or the systemic circulation from where these reached other organs like the kidney, liver, etc. In most studies, TiO2 nanoparticles appeared to have caused oxidative stress, histopathological alterations, carcinogenesis, genotoxicity and immune disruption. Therefore, the use of such materials in humans must be either avoided or strictly managed to minimise risks for human health in various situations.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Shakeel M, Jabeen F, Shabbir S, Asghar MS, Khan MS, Chaudhry AS

Publication type: Review

Publication status: Published

Journal: Biological Trace Element Researcb

Year: 2016

Volume: 172

Issue: 1

Pages: 1-36

Print publication date: 01/07/2016

Online publication date: 11/11/2015

Acceptance date: 19/10/2015

ISSN (print): 0163-4984

ISSN (electronic): 1559-0720



DOI: 10.1007/s12011-015-0550-x