Talc can easily become contaminated with asbestos, given the close proximity of the two minerals in natural deposits. In fact, it is not uncommon for both talc and asbestos to be found in the same mineral deposits.
The type of asbestos that is most frequently found in the same mineral deposits as talc is tremolite, which is a form of amphibole asbestos.
As the talc is mined, tremolite fibers may be released. This puts the miners at risk, as well as the future consumers of the products for which the talc will be used.
While the FDA now has standards in place regarding testing of talc to determine whether asbestos is present, such testing may not have been as accurate in its earlier days. As such, some products initially thought to be free from asbestos may have contained small amounts.
For more information on this topic, visit our How Asbestos in Talcum Powder Can Cause Mesothelioma page.
Asbestos and Mesothelioma
Mesothelioma is caused by inhalation or ingestion of asbestos fibers, which then become embedded in the lining of either the lungs, abdomen, or heart. This causes inflammation, and eventually, the formation of tumors in the affected areas.
There are several different types of mesothelioma:
- Pleural Mesothelioma (of the lungs)
- Peritoneal Mesothelioma (of the abdomen)
- Pericardial Mesothelioma (of the heart)
While there are factors that can increase someone’s risk of developing mesothelioma, only asbestos has been scientifically proven to cause the disease.