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Talc: a possible occupational and environmental carcinogen.
Blejer HP; Arlon R
J Occup Med 1973 Feb; 15(2):92-97
Talcs can be contaminated with asbestos minerals. Both talc and asbestos produce various fibrosing conditions. Asbestos as well as asbestos contaminated talc are known to be occupationally associated with excess mortality from various cancers. Ingestion, inhalation, skin, vaginal and other routes of talc exposure and absorption might, therefore, be associated with increased environmental and consumer health risks. Environmentally produced deposition and retention of talc particles in human lungs appear to be widespread. Talc particles have been found in some normal ovaries, as in the core of primary cancers of the ovary, endometrium, and cervix of nonoccupationally talc or asbestos exposed women in Britain. Many talc dusting powders and California processed talc coated rices tested were found to contain significant amounts of asbestos. Experimental animal exposure studies are needed to ascertain any possible carcinogenicity of pure talc which cannot presently be said to be more than adventitious.
NIOSH-Author; Asbestos; Carcinogens; Fibrosis; Magnesium-compounds; Occupational-diseases
Issue of Publication
Journal of Occupational Medicine
Page last reviewed: November 13, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division