Field of Science

The Boys of Summer Wear Titanium

A recent article (first published in the NY Times) notes the popularity of titanium coated necklaces with baseball players. Why? Supposedly it helps them have more energy. The necklaces are made by Phiten, and according to one of their sales representatives:

Everybody has electricity running through their bodies," said Scott McDonald, a Seattle-based sales and marketing representative for Phiten. "This product stabilizes that flow of electricity if you're stressed or tired."

Phiten says their process produces an " aqueous solution of titanium that is considered insoluble in water."

I think what they mean is that titanium metal is not terribly soluble in water (indeed true), their process "carbonizes it" (so now it's no longer the metal and it's conductivity, if you believe that is what is 'stablizing the flow of electricity', changes). If you want to wear non-metallic titanium, try sunblock containing titanium dioxide. It's cheaper, both blocks and scatters UV radiation, and the lotion base will improve dry skin!

The only flow this product is helping is the cash flow of the company selling it!


  1. As a pale chemist with a spotty complexion, I appreciate the micronized titanium dioxide sunscreens, though every so often I wonder about how much singlet oxygen might be being transiently generated at the tip of my nose, etc. and what the long-term effects might be (though then I usually think about the other junk in the sunscreen that could be oxidized and worry about what spots I've missed instead).

  2. We all have titanium dioxide in our bodies most of the time, at least in our gastrointestinal tract, because TiO2 is a food color approved by the FDA. But you may not always find it listed in the ingredient lists, because it is exempt from the mandatory declaration of such ingredients (long story).

  3. I still think that it's not really safe skin care for dry skin...


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