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What is talc?

Talc is a soft mineral, made up mainly of the ingredients magnesium, silicon, and oxygen. Like all minerals, it is usually found in mixed deposits with other minerals, notably asbestos. A worker who was exposed to asbestos may develop the asbestos cancer mesothelioma.

How are workers exposed to talc?

Any worker who is using talc that is dry and powdery is breathing air that may contain particles of asbestos. Talc is often mixed with other materials. In addition, the act of cutting a product that contains talc may release asbestos particles.

There are many industrial uses for talc. It is used as a filler in the making of plastics.

Talc can be an ingredient in the making of cement or cement blocks.

Talc is used as a raw material to make ceramic products.

Talc is used to keep products like rubber and latex gloves and inner tubes from sticking to surfaces.

Talc is used in paint as an extender and filler, and to make the paint brighter.

Tailor’s chalk, which is primarily talc, is used by welders and metalworkers to make marks that are not obliterated by high temperatures.

Talc is used to make roofing materials. It is used as a lubricant when high temperatures are involved, and other materials would be destroyed by the heat.

In medicine, talc is used to fill the pleural space to prevent the recurrence of a collapsed lung (pneumothorax) or fluid on the lungs (pleural effusions). Talc is used as a glidant in pharmaceuticals. Talc is used by dentists in resins and waxes used to make impressions, to keep the material from being too fluid.

In ceramics, talc is an ingredient in many glazes. It is mixed in dry form into other liquid ingredients, so the person mixing the glaze is at risk for breathing asbestos.

Basketball players sometimes used chalk to keep their hands dry.

Why does talc exposure carry a risk of mesothelioma?

Because talc is often contaminated with asbestos, using talc exposes the worker to airborne asbestos fibers. Asbestos is the only known cause of the disease mesothelioma. Mesothelioma is a rare, incurable cancer that occurs years after a person is exposed to asbestos.

Have you been affected by asbestos in talc?

If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma or any asbestos-related illness, count on New England’s leading mesothelioma law firm to get you the full compensation you are entitled to under the law. Thornton Law Firm has been fighting for fair compensation for asbestos victims since 1978.  Call our toll free number 888-632-0108 or tell us your story here. All legal claims must be filed within short time limits so do not delay seeking legal counsel to protect your legal rights.