Scientific Considerations for Communicating Risks Associated with Talc

Ms. Sarah Dahlberg, MS Moderator
Exponent, Inc.
Oakland, CA 
United States of America
Dr. Ryan Lewis, PhD, CIH Presenter
Exponent, Inc.
Oakland, CA 
United States of America
Wed, 9/29: 2:45 PM - 3:15 PM PDT
Express Session 
Hyatt Regency Orange County 
Room: Garden 1-2 


Talc is a mineral mined worldwide for use in a wide range of consumer products. Some talc deposits can co-occur naturally with deposits of serpentine or amphibole minerals, raising the issue of whether trace levels of these minerals may contaminate talc-containing products. The presence of serpentine or amphibole minerals can potentially elevate end users' risk of mesothelioma through inhalation exposures. Standardized sensitive analytical methods can be used to screen for serpentine and amphibole minerals. However, product stewards must properly interpret the resulting data to avoid misrepresenting potential exposures, resulting in incorrect or misleading conclusions about mesothelioma risks.

This session will discuss communicating risk to stakeholders and making risk management decisions if serpentine or amphibole materials are detected in products. Specifically, the speaker will cover four scientific considerations related to mesothelioma risks: the epidemiology of mesothelioma among talc-exposed cohorts; the distinction of mesothelioma hazard between and within mineral types and habits; quantitative contextualization of analytical content data with relevant benchmarks; and influence of encapsulation and matrix effects on the release of these minerals. This session will draw upon the most up-to-date scientific information available on talc and asbestos, given the latter's potential association with talc.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion, the participant will be able to:

• Describe the epidemiology of mesothelioma among talc miners, millers, and product end-users in occupational and non-occupational settings
• Understand the toxicological importance of mineral type and habit, particularly for asbestiform minerals
• Express analytical contend data in the context of inhalation exposure to asbestos in the ambient air and at the current permissible exposure limit
• Describe regulatory positions on asbestos and the influence of encapsulation and matrix effects on asbestos fiber release, aerodynamics, and inhalation exposure 

Risk Assessments

Existing Chemical Risk Assessments - General

Certified Professional Product Steward Domain Alignment

Domain I: Assessment, Impact Analysis, & Risk Management
Domain II: Communication

Content Level


Interactivity and Engagement