TiOClothing: FAQs

Please find our most FAQs here. If you have a question, we're sure someone else is wondering the same thing too. Please e-mail: info@tio2apparel.com to get the ball rolling, and we'll do our best to answer your question and update our FAQs.

What is TiOClothing?

TiO2 Clothing is a smart clothing company with designs focusing on chemistry, air pollution awareness, and air pollution solutions. Our clothing has a 100% unique TiO2-design material providing the best performance in air cleaning and sustainability. We are also partnering with organizations to provide a TiO2 coating to help start planting forests on campuses and in cities across the globe. To learn more contact: info@tio2apparel.com.

Why TiO2 clothing?

Clothing is for everyone and, we think, so is TiO2. The big idea for TiO2 is skyscrapers and installations with large surface areas that could help clean hundreds of thousands to millions of cubic feet of air everyday. But TiO2 Clothing's researchers decided to start smaller with a TiO2-dye that works on all clothing fabrics. We believe we have to go smaller before we can go bigger. 

What is "This shirt is a tree"?

"This shirt is a tree" represents the idea of our company for providing an air cleaning product. Trees clean the air and so do our shirts. 

Does TiO2 affect the clothing?

Not at all. There's no noticeable difference between clothing with or without our TiO2 present in the fabric. The amount of TiO2 is less than 0.1% of the total weight of the clothing. 

Does the TiO2 trap the pollution on the clothing?

No. In fact, the TiO2 can help keep the shirt clean by breaking down pollution and contaminants that stick to the shirt into gasses returning contaminants to the air as harmless gases.

Is TiO2 safe?

Yes. TiO2 is a food safe mineral used as a white pigment in food, cosmetics, sunscreens, and paints. TiO2 in some form is used in 2/3 of all pigments. Prolonged exposure to dry TiO2 dust is hazardous, the same way most dust is, even wood dust; however, it is not encountered in any part of the final product or the production or application process.

Is TiO2 effective?

Yes. TiO2 works very similar to the air cleaning reactions that occur within the ozone layer. The ozone layer is how the planet permanently and effectively cleans the atmosphere and natural air cleaning solution. It uses sunlight, water, and oxygen to produce hydroxyl radicals just like TiO2. And whether the air-cleaning process starts or ends in the ozone layer or at a TiO2 surface, photocatalytic ozone or photocatalytic TiO2 is the only way to speed up the process of removing pollution from the environment. Trees contribute to reducing air pollution, but, sadly, we aren't planting more trees. In fact, due to a growing population and urbanization, US cities on average are losing 36 million trees a year.

There's a lot we must do to stop and control air pollution. The more we can all do, the better. But the idea that TiO2 can't be used to speed up the process is as dangerous as doing nothing at all.

Newsweek Article on TiO2 at Yankees Stadium:

"TiO2 has been studied to death," says Alexander Orlov, a materials science and engineering professor at Stony Brook University. "There are still some scientific issues to address, but the fact that it works has been confirmed by many research groups."

Orlov and Raff have both published papers showing that as part of the chemical process that occurs during photocatalysis, dangerous molecules can be temporarily created. "[VOCs] get partially oxidised," says Raff, "which means they might form aldehydes or oxidised versions of the molecules." Both of those are bad for the human body, if they stick around. But Orlov, who spent seven years advising the British government on the safety of nanotechnology and hazardous substances argues that overall, the process is a net positive "it's getting rid of lots more bad stuff than it creates."

"These papers just show one of the elements, and one of the possible reaction pathways," he says. Taken in the bigger context, this is just small potatoes.

Who is TiOClothing?

TiO2 Clothing was started in San Francisco and Los Angeles by a small team of designers and researchers. Our researchers worked on previous projects making man-made photosynthesis devices or "artificial leaves". In order to perform photosynthesis (produce oxygen from water and fix CO2 into reduced carbon products using only sunlight), they used TiO2. Now they are using that knowledge to make better products that clean the air with TiO2.

What is TiO2?

Titanium dioxide or TiO2 is a naturally-occurring form of titanium (Ti) mined from the earth mainly from three minerals: ilmenite, rutile, and anatase. The anatase crystal structure of TiO2 is the most active photocatalyst of all the TiO2 crystal types. Each crystal type is different based on the periodic arrangement of the TiO2 atoms.

What is a photocatalyst?

A photocatalyst is a material that uses light to help perform reactions. The catalyst is not used up in the process and will continue to perform reactions as long as light is available.

What happens during the air cleaning process?

For organic molecules made up of carbon (C) and hydrogen (H) atoms, these atoms are combined with oxygen (O2) in the air to make carbon dioxide (CO2) and water (H2O). A similar process occurs for inorganic pollutants: nitrogen dioxide (NO2) or NOx is converted into nitrate (NO3-). What occurs at TiO2 is a photocatalytic oxidation which very often involves the addition of oxygen (O) atoms to the reactants or pollutants.

What's different about TiOClothing?

Like a lot of people, at TiO2 Clothing we are ready for change. Motivated by doing something, and being active, we are dedicated to products that provides a real solution to the problem. TiO2 Clothing's priority is the environment. Our goal is to connect safe science in the best way possible with the people whose passion it is is to create change in the world.