It is the most predominant source of white pigment in the world, accounting for over 70% of the total production volume. Oddly, its production emerged in 1916 simultaneously in 2 different parts of the world: the US (Titanium Pigment Corporation) and Norway (Titan Co. A/S). This 'new white pigment' would replace the (health-hazardous) lead-based products.
Today, it is used to provide opacity and white color to everything from plastics to foods and toothpastes. Titanium dioxide is – in the world of paint – referred to as 'the whitest white' or 'the perfect white'. It's neutral enough to be acceptable for use in baby products and when taken internally (for example as part of a pill), passes through the human system without causing any known damage or any adverse reactions.
It's your sun block
Titanium dioxide is accepted world-wide as a safe sun barrier and therefore present in almost every sunblock on the market today. Adding a mere 5% to a product gives a sun protection factor (SPF) of approx.10. Adding 10% gives the product an SPF of 15-20.
Check the SPF factor of the mineral foundation you are using and you will have a pretty good idea as to what percentage of the product contains titanium (and/or zinc) dioxide.
Isn't it nice to know of at least one ingredient that is used commercially (and vastly) that is non-hazardous?