Morbidity and mortality in talc-exposed workers

Am J Ind Med. 1990;17(4):505-13. doi: 10.1002/ajim.4700170408.


Cancer incidence and cause-specific mortality were studied in a male cohort of 94 talc miners and 295 talc millers, exposed to non-asbestiform talc with low quartz content. No excess risk was found compared with national age-specific incidence. Six cases of lung cancer occurred versus 6.49 expected (miners: observed 2, expected 1.27; millers: observed 4, expected 5.22). There were 3 deaths due to non-malignant respiratory disease against 10.9 expected (miners: observed 1, expected 2.5; millers: observed 2, expected 8.4). Mesothelioma, tuberculosis, or pneumoconiosis were not recorded as causes of death. Pneumoconiosis was noted as a contributory cause in three cases (silicosis two, talcosis one). Further follow-up will reduce any potential impact of "healthy worker" selection.

MeSH terms

  • Cause of Death*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Lung Neoplasms / mortality
  • Mining
  • Neoplasms / mortality*
  • Norway / epidemiology
  • Occupational Diseases / mortality*
  • Pneumoconiosis / mortality
  • Risk Factors
  • Smoking / mortality
  • Talc / adverse effects*


  • Talc