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Talc

Talc is the softest known mineral and chemically inert, and this makes it perfect for a wide variety of uses. It’s a major component of ceramics, and even the Vikings used talc-rich soapstone to create cooking-pots. They took these pots with them on their travels and sold them both abroad and at home. Soapstone's softness also made it possible for Native American Indians to carve it into smoking pipes. Today, we encounter talc constantly in our daily lives. As the weather gets warmer, we’ll see more construction projects around our towns. If you notice new roofs being installed, you’ll know talc is being used for weather resistance where you live. You may even want to do some projects in your own home, in which case you’ll likely use talc in floor and wall tiles or to put on a fresh coat of paint.

Talc in daily life

Talc is just about everywhere you look. In addition to certain construction materials, talc is in the gum you chew, the paper you write on, and a large number of cosmetics. It’s used as a carrier for medicated powders and a coating for pills. Talc is a safe carrier for food colourings and helps stop foods like rice form sticking together.

It’s even in your electronics. Talc is used as an insulator in wires, and its flame and heat resistant properties make it perfect for keeping your computer and TV safe from overheating, as well as various parts of your car and tyres.