Talc powders from national and international markets were analyzed in order to assess their fiber contents and the proportion of asbestos in the fibrous material. Samples of talc powders used as excipients in pharmaceutical and cosmetic preparations demonstrated fiber contents up to 30% of total particles. About a half of the talc powders revealed the presence of asbestos: in five samples chrysotile (a serpentine asbestos) was present, in the other ones tremolite and anthophyllite (an amphibole asbestos). The amounts of asbestos vary up to 90% in the different samples of the fibrous fraction. About 75% of observed asbestos fibers were thinner than 0.4 μm, i.e., below the resolving power of light microscopy which until now was the most utilized technique for evaluating the environmental pollution due to asbestos.
ASJC Scopus subject areas