A summary of factory observations, reports, and evaluations for the NIOSH talc (14807966) criteria document is presented. Descriptions of processing and handling, milling, and end user facilities that were visited are summarized. It is noted that most of the facilities had instituted measures to minimize employee contact with talc. Medical monitoring, labeling and posting practices, personal protective equipment and clothing, employee information, work practices, engineering controls, and environmental monitoring at the visited facilities are summarized. An evaluation of the observations is also summarized. The employers at most of the facilities regarded talc as nuisance dust, not requiring specific precautionary procedures. It is important that employees be informed of the hazards of long term exposure to talc. Effective engineering controls should be installed in all workplaces, and proper cleaning procedures should be used. Respiratory protection should be available and be used as an adjunct to engineering controls in the event of an emergency. Workers should be encouraged to shower at the end of each shift, and should have separate work and street clothes. Employers should provide laundry facilities and require their use for work clothes.
Division of Criteria Documentation and Standards Development, NIOSH, Centers for Disease Control, Public Health Service, U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare