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Talc 1


A block of talc

Category Silicate mineral

Chemical formula Mg3Si4O10(OH)2


Color white, grey, green, blue, or silver

Crystal habit foliated to fibrous masses

Crystal system [1]

monoclinic or triclinic

Cleavage perfect basal cleavage

Fracture flat surfaces (not cleavage), fracture in an uneven pattern

Tenacity sectile

Mohs scale hardness 1

Luster waxlike or pearly, sometimes smooth

Streak white to very pearly green

Diaphaneity translucent

Specific gravity 2.58 to 2.83

Optical properties biaxial (-)

Refractive index n = 1.538 - 1.550

n = 1.589 - 1.594
n = 1.589 - 1.600
Birefringence δ = 0.051

Pleochroism weak in dark varieties

Other characteristics fluorescent, non-magnetic, non-radioactive

References [2] [3] [4]

Talc (derived from the Persian talc (‫ ) کلات‬via Arabic talk (‫ ))كلت‬is a mineral composed of hydrated magnesium
silicate with the chemical formula H2Mg3(SiO3)4 or Mg3Si4O10(OH)2. In loose form, it is the widely-used substance
known as talcum powder. It occurs as foliated to fibrous masses, its monoclinic crystals being so rare as to be almost
unknown. It has a perfect basal cleavage, and the folia are non-elastic, although slightly flexible. It is very soft and
sectile (can be cut with a knife); with a Mohs hardness of 1, it can be easily scratched by a fingernail. It has a
Talc 2

specific gravity of 2.5–2.8, a clear or dusty luster, and is translucent to opaque. Talc is not soluble in water, but it is
slightly soluble in dilute mineral acids. Its colour ranges from white to grey or green and it has a distinctly greasy
feel. Its streak is white.
Soapstone is a metamorphic rock composed predominantly of talc.

Talc is a metamorphic mineral resulting from the metamorphism of magnesian minerals such as serpentine,
pyroxene, amphibole, olivine, in the presence of carbon dioxide and water. This is known as talc carbonation or
steatization and produces a suite of rocks known as talc carbonates.
Talc is primarily formed via hydration and carbonation of serpentine, via the following reaction;
serpentine + carbon dioxide → talc + magnesite + water
2Mg3Si2O5(OH)4 + 3CO2 → Mg3Si4O10(OH)2 + 3 MgCO3 + 3 H2O
Talc can also be formed via a reaction between dolomite and silica, which is typical of skarnification of dolomites
via silica-flooding in contact metamorphic aureoles;
dolomite + silica + water → talc + calcite + carbon dioxide
3CaMg(CO3)2 + 4 SiO2 + H2O → Mg3Si4O10(OH)2 + 3 CaCO3 + 3 CO2
Talc can also be formed from magnesian chlorite and quartz in blueschist and eclogite metamorphism via the
following metamorphic reaction:
chlorite + quartz → kyanite + talc + water
In this reaction, the ratio of talc and kyanite is dependent on aluminium content with more aluminous rocks favoring
production of kyanite. This is typically associated with high-pressure, low-temperature minerals such as phengite,
garnet, glaucophane within the lower blueschist facies. Such rocks are typically white, friable, and fibrous, and are
known as whiteschist.
Talc is a tri-octahedral layered mineral; its structure is similar to that of pyrophyllite, but with magnesium in the
octahedral sites of the composite layers.[1]

Talc is a common metamorphic mineral in metamorphic belts which
contain ultramafic rocks, such as soapstone (a high-talc rock), and
within whiteschist and blueschist metamorphic terranes. Prime
examples of whiteschists include the Franciscan Metamorphic Belt of
the western United States, the western European Alps especially in
Talc output in 2005
Italy, certain areas of the Musgrave Block, and some collisional
orogens such as the Himalayas which stretches along Pakistan,
Kashmir and Nepal. Abdul Wahab Corporation is a quality talc supplier form Pakistan. Talc carbonated ultramafics
are typical of many areas of the Archaean cratons, notably the komatiite belts of the Yilgarn Craton in Western
Australia. Talc-carbonate ultramafics are also known from the Lachlan Fold Belt, eastern Australia, from Brazil, the
Guiana Shield, and from the ophiolite belts of Turkey, Oman and the Middle East.

Notable economic talc occurrences include the Mount Seabrook talc mine, Western Australia, formed upon a
polydeformed, layered ultramafic intrusion. The France-based Luzenac Group is the world's largest supplier of
mined talc.
Talc 3

Talc is used in many industries such as
paper making, plastic, paint and coatings,
rubber, food, electric cable,
pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, ceramics, etc. A
coarse grayish-green high-talc rock is
soapstone or steatite and has been used for
stoves, sinks, electrical switchboards, etc. It
is often used for surfaces of lab counter tops
and electrical switchboards because of its
Talcum powder.
resistance to heat, electricity and acids. Talc
finds use as a cosmetic (talcum powder), as
a lubricant, and as a filler in paper
manufacture. Talc is used in baby powder,
an astringent powder used for preventing
rashes on the area covered by a diaper (see
diaper rash). It is also often used in
basketball to keep a player's hands dry.
Most tailor's chalk is talc, as is the chalk
often used for welding or metalworking.

Talc is also used as food additive or in

pharmaceutical products as a glidant. In
medicine talc is used as a pleurodesis agent
to prevent recurrent pneumothorax. In the
European Union the additive number is Crystal structure of talc

Talc is widely used in the ceramics industry in both bodies and glazes. In low-fire artware bodies it imparts
whiteness and increases thermal expansion to resist crazing. In stonewares, small percentages of talc are used to flux
the body and therefore improve strength and vitrification. It is a source of MgO flux in high temperature glazes (to
control melting temperature). It is also employed as a matting agent in earthenware glazes and can be used to
produce magnesia mattes at high temperatures.
ISO standard for quality (ISO 3262)

Type Talc content min. wt% Loss on ignition at 1000 °C, wt % Solubility in HCl, max. wt %

A 95 4 – 6.5 5

B 90 4–9 10

C 70 4 – 18 30

D 50 4 – 27 30

Patents are pending on the use of magnesium silicate as a cement substitute. Its production requirements are less
energy-intensive than ordinary Portland cement at around 650 °C, while it absorbs far more carbon dioxide as it
hardens. This results in a negative carbon footprint overall, as the cement removes 0.6 tonnes of CO2 per tonne used.
This contrasts with a carbon footprint of 0.4 tonne per tonne of conventional cement.[5]
It is used as an additive for heroin, to expand volume and weight and thereby increase its street value. With
intravenous use, it may lead to talcosis, a granulomatous inflammation in the lungs.
Talc 4

Several studies have established preliminary links between talc and pulmonary issues,[6] lung cancer,[7] [8] skin
cancer and ovarian cancer.[9] This is a major concern considering talc's widespread commercial and household use.
In 1993, a US National Toxicology Program report found that cosmetic grade talc caused tumours in rats (animal
testing) forced to inhale talc for 6 hours a day, five days a week over at least 113 weeks, even though it contained no
asbestos-like fibres.[7] Scientists have been aware of the toxicity of talc since the late 1960s, and in 1971 researchers
found particles of talc embedded in 75% of the ovarian tumors studied.[10] However, the U.S. Food and Drug
Administration (FDA) considers non-asbestiform talc, that is, talc which does not contain potentially carcinogenic
asbestiform amphibole fibers, to be generally recognized as safe (GRAS) for use in cosmetics. [11]

See also
• Asbestos
• Blueschist
• French chalk
• List of minerals
• Magnesite
• Metamorphic rocks
• Serpentinite
• Talc carbonate

External links
• [12]

[1] An Introduction to the Rock-Forming Minerals, second edition, by W.A. Deer, R.A. Howie, and J. Zussman, 1992, Prentice Hall, ISBN
[2] Handbook of Mineralogy (http:/ / rruff. geo. arizona. edu/ doclib/ hom/ talc. pdf)
[3] Talc (http:/ / www. mindat. org/ min-3875. html) at
[4] Talc (http:/ / webmineral. com/ data/ Talc. shtml) at Webmineral
[5] Revealed: The cement that eats carbon dioxide (http:/ / www. guardian. co. uk/ environment/ 2008/ dec/ 31/ cement-carbon-emissions) Alok
Jha, The Guardian, 31 December 2008
[6] Hollinger, MA (1990). "Pulmonary toxicity of inhaled and intravenous talc". Toxicology letters 52 (2): 121–7; discussion 117–9.
doi:10.1016/0378-4274(90)90145-C. PMID 2198684.
[7] National Toxicology, Program (1993). "NTP Toxicology and Carcinogenesis Studies of Talc (Non-Asbestiform) in Rats and Mice (Inhalation
Studies)" (http:/ / www. ntp. niehs. nih. gov/ ?objectid=0709BB4D-D4A2-78A0-F519C6ABAF22CDC1). National Toxicology Program
technical report series 421: 1–287. PMID 12616290. .
[8] NIOSH Worker Notification Program. Health effects of mining and milling talc. (http:/ / www. cdc. gov/ niosh/ pgms/ worknotify/ Talc.
html). .(historical)
[9] Harlow, Cramer, Bell, et al. (1992). "Perineal exposure to talc and ovarian cancer risk". Obstetrics and gynecology 80 (1): 19–26.
PMID 1603491.
[10] Henderson WJ, Joslin CA, Turnbull AC, Griffiths K (1971). "Talc and carcinoma of the ovary and cervix". J Obstet Gynaecol Br Commonw
78 (3): 266–272. PMID 5558843.
[11] CFSAN/Office of Food Additive Safety (July 2006). "Food Additive Status List" (http:/ / www. fda. gov/ Food/ FoodIngredientsPackaging/
FoodAdditives/ FoodAdditiveListings/ ucm091048. htm#ftnT). U.S. Food and Drug Administration. . Retrieved December 2007.
[12] http:/ / mineral. galleries. com/ minerals/ silicate/ talc/ talc. htm
Article Sources and Contributors 5

Article Sources and Contributors

Talc  Source:  Contributors: 2over0, AWC talc, Agüeybaná, AlexiusHoratius, Alvis, Anclation, Andrea105, Anomalocaris, Anwar saadat,
AtomicDragon, Atominfiltrators, Bantman, Bejnar, Benbest, Blanchardb, Blueschist, Bobo192, Buddyloveskendall, Bushytails, C6541, CTZMSC3, CalicoCatLover, Calm123, Cazort, Cflm001,
Chem-awb, Chris 73, Ciphergoth, Conversion script, Cool3, CorbinSimpson, Correogsk, Cuaxdon, DSRH, Daarznieks, DanielCD, Dew Kane, Dfrg.msc, DragonflySixtyseven, Drakew007,
DuncanHill, Dysepsion, Edgar181, Editor at Large, Environnement2100, Epbr123, Ephebi, Eric-Wester, Ewlloyd, Fabullus, Femto, Filceolaire, FocalPoint, FullMetal Falcon, Gamer007,
GearedBull, Gilgamesh, Gogo Dodo, Graeme Bartlett, Greybeard851, Groyolo, Grrexports, Gtrmp, HiDrNick, I love black 53, Improv, Irishguy, J.delanoy, JForget, JaGa, Jaraalbe, Jay, Jellonuts,
Jeltz, Johnjohnjohn1234, Joshyyoo, Jpgordon, JuJube, Kaisershatner, Kaji13, Kazvorpal, Kcordina, Kevmin, Kevmitch, Kimthehotty, Knop92, Ktsquare, LadyofShalott, Lambanog, LeContexte,
Luk, Macronyx, Magtalc, MapsMan, MarkSutton, Materialscientist, Matthew Yeager, Mattisse, Mattman723, Maxis ftw, Mike6271, Minghong, NHRHS2010, Nagytibi, Nakon, NawlinWiki,
Nephron, Oda Mari, Pablomartinez, Parthian Scribe, Pax:Vobiscum, Pgk, Pinethicket, Pizza1512, Qaqaq, Quadell, Qwfp, R'n'B, RA0808, Rcingham, Reinyday, RexNL, Riittaajo, Rjwilmsi,
Robinh, Rolinator, SReynhout, Salvor, Sam Hocevar, SirJective, Slashme, Smalljim, Stephanie A, Stepp-Wulf, StuartCarter, Tabletop, Thanatosa, The Thing That Should Not Be,
Thefriendlygiant, Thingg, Timanderso, Tonywhansen, TrevMrgn, Trusilver, Txbangert, Unreal128, Unyoyega, Uthbrian, Verdatum, Vsmith, WaysToEscape, WikiWikiPhil, Wknight94, X1987x,
XJamRastafire, Yakudza, Yms, Zemalia, Zephalis, Zscout370, Zzyzx11, ‫דוד‬55, 292 anonymous edits

Image Sources, Licenses and Contributors

File:Talc block.jpg  Source:  License: Public Domain  Contributors: EugeneZelenko, Sanao, Saperaud, Wela49
File:2005talc.png  Source:  License: Public Domain  Contributors: User:Anwar saadat
File:Talcum Powder.JPEG  Source:  License: GNU Free Documentation License  Contributors: User:Mattman723
File:Talc.GIF  Source:  License: GNU Free Documentation License  Contributors: NIMSoffice (talk). Original uploader was NIMSoffice
at en.wikipedia

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