PRIOR to the modern usage of starch as a lubricant for the hands and gloves lycopodium and then talc were used. Lycopodium is a dusting and absorbent powder formed by the yellow, inflammable sporules of Lycopodium clavatum, L saururus, and other species. Chemically, talcum powder or mineral graphite is magnesium silicate, which has a chemical structure of Mg3 Si4 O10 (OH).2 It is a natural hydrous magnesium silicate, occurring as a natural alteration of magnesium silicate rocks or in metamorphosed dolomites.1
In 1916, Shattock described a granuloma due to "silicious particles."2 Later, in 1933, Antopol3 described granulomas from lycopodium as well as talcum powder. Thus, it became quite clear that another form of hand or glove lubricant, or both would be more practical than the use of either lycopodium or talcum powder. Starch as a form of glove lubricant was introduced as a
Rock EH. Surgeon's Glove Powder (Starch) Middle Ear Granuloma. Arch Otolaryngol. 1967;86(1):8–17. doi:10.1001/archotol.1967.00760050010003
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