Several epidemiologic studies have been conducted on miners and millers of talc—individuals who were exposed to high levels of talc daily as part of their jobs. These studies have uniformly shown that exposures to high levels of cosmetic talc do not increase the risk of mesothelioma.
Epidemiologic studies of miners and millers at an Italian cosmetic talc mine used by Johnson & Johnson have demonstrated that there is no increased risk of mesothelioma among these workers. Over one thousand Italian cosmetic talc miners and millers have been followed in four separate studies published between 1976 and 2017. None of these workers developed mesothelioma.
Other epidemiologic studies of cosmetic talc workers in Austria, France, and Norway have also shown no increased risk of mesothelioma among miners and millers. In fact, none of the talc workers studied in these locations developed mesothelioma.
NIOSH and OSHA conducted a study of Vermont miners and millers of talc in 1979 and reported no mesotheliomas among the individuals working at these mines and mills. In September 2019, a separate group of researchers published an update on Vermont miners and millers, following the miners and millers for an additional 37 years. The expanded 2019 study identified one case of mesothelioma; however, the death certificate for this individual indicated that he had been exposed to asbestos. He also was employed as a talc worker for less than five years. The 2019 study concluded that there was no increased risk of mesothelioma among the Vermont miners and millers.