Mesothelioma Associated With the Use of Cosmetic Talc

J Occup Environ Med. 2020 Jan;62(1):11-17. doi: 10.1097/JOM.0000000000001723.


Objective: To describe 33 cases of malignant mesothelioma among individuals with no known asbestos exposure other than cosmetic talcum powder.

Methods: Cases were referred for medico-legal evaluation, and tissue digestions were performed in some cases. Tissue digestion for the six cases described was done according to standard methodology.

Results: Asbestos of the type found in talcum powder was found in all six cases evaluated. Talcum powder usage was the only source of asbestos for all 33 cases.

Conclusions: Exposure to asbestos-contaminated talcum powders can cause mesothelioma. Clinicians should elicit a history of talcum powder usage in all patients presenting with mesothelioma.