IN MOST hospitals the preparation of rubber gloves involves the use of talcum powder, which is the finely pulverized mineral talc so widely used in industry and in cosmetic preparations. Chemically it consists of a combination of hydrous magnesium silicate, H2Mg3Si4O12 (chemically pure talc), calcium magnesium carbonate, calcium magnesium silicate and other related substances in varying proportions. Its usefulness for the servicing of surgical rubber gloves is apparently based on the following properties: (a) It withstands easily the heat of the sterilization process. (b) It absorbs films of moisture from rubber and skin. (c) It eases friction between rubber and skin surfaces by a ball-bearing effect of the minute powder particles. Other substances which could be used for the same purpose have apparently not been widely accepted, so that the field today is still left almost exclusively to talcum powder.
While much fault
GRUENFELD GE. GRANULOMAS OF LARGE SIZE CAUSED BY IMPLANTATION OF TALCUM (TALCUM SARCOIDS). Arch Surg. 1949;59(4):917-924. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1949.01240040926013