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Cosmetic-grade Talc

Talc, hydrous magnesium silicate, is a soft mineral used in food, drugs, cosmetics, and industrial applications. Cosmetic-grade talc is produced in conformance with United States Pharmacopeia (USP) and industry specifications. Talc is used in cosmetics and personal care products primarily as an anti-caking and skin softening agent. Cosmetic-grade talc does not contain asbestos, which is a primary concern when determining carcinogenicity. This is confirmed by X-ray diffraction and optical and electron microscopy. Producers of cosmetic-grade talc use purity specifications to ensure that it does not contain residue levels of asbestos. Health experts have maintained over the years that products containing talc are safe when used as directed, and recent scientific reviews of available data have supported this position. The Food and Drug Administration has determined that talc is Generally Recognized As Safe.The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics lists talc as a concern when it contains asbestos fibers which can pose a risk for respiratory toxicity and cancer.

SOURCES: Talc. Retrieved from

World Health Organization. (2006). Carbon Black, Titanium Dioxide, and Talc. IARC Monographs on the Evaluation of Carcinogenic Risks to Humans. Retrieved from

National Toxicology Program. (2007, April). Talc (cosmetic & occupational exposure). The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. Retrieved from