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Health effects of exposure to nano-TiO2: a meta-analysis of experimental studies

Xuhong Chang12, Yu Zhang12, Meng Tang13* and Bei Wang12*

Author Affiliations

1 Key Laboratory of Environmental Medicine and Engineering, Ministry of Education, School of Public Health, Southeast University, Nanjing 210009, China

2 Department of Epidemiology and Health Statistics, School of Public Health, Southeast University, Nanjing 210009, China

3 Jiangsu Key Laboratory for Biomaterials and Devices, Southeast University, Nanjing 210009, China

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Nanoscale Research Letters 2013, 8:51  doi:10.1186/1556-276X-8-51

Published: 25 January 2013


The paper is aimed to investigate the toxicity of nano-TiO2 and its potential harmful impact on human health using meta-analysis of in vitro and short-time animal studies. Data were retrieved according to included and excluded criteria from 1994 to 2011. The combined toxic effects of nano-TiO2 were calculated by the different endpoints by cell and animal models. From analysis of the experimental studies, more than 50% showed positive statistical significance except the apoptosis group, and the cytotoxicity was in a dose-dependent but was not clear in size-dependent manner. Nano-TiO2 was detained in several important organs including the liver, spleen, kidney, and brain after entering the blood through different exposure routes, but the coefficient of the target organs was altered slightly from animal models. It is possible that nano-TiO2 can induce cell damage related to exposure size and dose. Further studies will be needed to demonstrate that nanoparticles have toxic effects on human body, especially in epidemiological studies.

Health effects; Nano-TiO2; Meta-analysis; Toxicity; Epidemiology