Talc is known as the softest mineral on earth, composed of magnesium, silicon and oxygen.
The mineral is largely mined in the southeastern United States with smaller deposits found throughout the country.
Talc is used in many different products, which means many different talcum products can cause cancer. It can be crushed into a white powder, more commonly known as “talcum powder.” The talcum powder can be used for many purposes, but it is more known for its ability to absorb moisture, oils and odor. These properties have made talcum powder an important ingredient in most powder products, such as baby powders, foot powders, first aid powders, and a variety of cosmetics.
One of the most famous talcum powder products is Johnson & Johnson’s Baby Powder. The company has been drilled with asbestos lawsuits for the last decade due to confirmed reports of asbestos in its talc.
Where Is Talc Mined?
Talc is found in many different places throughout the United States but mainly found in the eastern Appalachian and Piedmont regions from New England to Alabama. In 2019, Montana was the leading talc producer in the U.S., followed by Texas and then Vermont.
With the heaviest talc presence being throughout the Appalachian mountains, there are many states included in that region, such as:
- North Carolina
- South Carolina
The mineral can also be found in small amounts in New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin, Alaska and Minnesota.
In the western United States, talc deposits are found in:
- New Mexico
Generally, most of the talc produced in the United States comes from talc mines in Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Alabama.
What Products Is Talc Used In?
Talc is the main ingredient in talcum powder, often used as a baby powder, to absorb moisture, to prevent rashes and to provide fragrance. Talc is used in many cosmetic products such as blushes, eye shadows, foundations and face powders. It can also be found in body powders, foot powders and deodorants.
Talcum powder has been commonly used for many years, but there are concerns about its safety. Some studies have suggested that there may be a link between the use of talcum powder and cancer, like mesothelioma, lung cancer and ovarian cancer.
Today, most former talc products now incorporate cornstarch as a safe alternative to talc. Johnson & Johnson Baby Powder and any other talc products aren’t safe to use.
Although talc has declined in popularity due to concerns of asbestos contamination, there can still be lasting effects. Asbestos-contaminated talc can have deadly consequences, such as the development of asbestos diseases like mesothelioma. If you once used or are still using talc products, it’s important to be aware of the risks.
Contact our registered nurse, Karen Ritter, at firstname.lastname@example.org, if you have any concerns about possible asbestos exposure.
Sources & Author
Talc: The Softest Mineral. Geology.com. Retrieved from: https://geology.com/minerals/talc.shtml#:~:text=Most%20of%20the%20talc%20deposits,are%20also%20found%20in%20Texas. Accessed: 07/27/22.
Talc and Pyrophyllite. Mcs2020-talc. Retrieved from: https://pubs.usgs.gov/periodicals/mcs2020/mcs2020-talc.pdf. Accessed: 07/28/22.
Sources & Author