To describe 33 cases of malignant mesothelioma among individuals with no known asbestos exposure other than cosmetic talcum powder.
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.
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.
Exposure to asbestos-contaminated talcum powders can cause mesothelioma. Clinicians should elicit a history of talcum powder usage in all patients presenting with mesothelioma.