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Commercial talc and talcosis

Weiss, B.; Boettner, E.A.

Archives of Environmental Health 14(2): 304-308

1967


ISSN/ISBN: 0003-9896
PMID: 6017109
DOI: 10.1080/00039896.1967.10664736
Accession: 024355902

On the basis of mineral content and origin, most of the economically important commercial talc deposits fit into 1 of 2 groups. One type of deposit, formed from carbonate rocks and usually containing a predominance of talc, tremolite, and frequently anthophyllite, appears to be a greater industrial health problem than the other type which commonly contains talc, chlorite, carbonate, and often vermiculite. Additional environmental and toxicologic studies on the type of deposit formed from serpentine rocks would be advisable and would reveal whether this type of dust is innocuous as has been reported. If this were confirmed, it would then seem to point to the need for establishment of at least 2 different threshold-limit values for commercial talc depending on the origin of the particular deposit. In addition, there would be less confusion in evaluating the talcosis problem if nonmineral terms such as soapstone, steatite, grit, and tremolite talc, for example, were discontinued in reports. These terms are too general in meaning, having been used by investigators for many years in order to describe a wide variety of material. A strict adherence to suitable mineralogical names is necessary, along with continued research, in order to better understand the nature of talcosis.

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