BEN JOHNSON / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY BEN JOHNSON / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Sample of talc. Talc is a monoclinic mineral, composed of crystalline laminae of hydrous magnesium silicate. In its purest forms it is white, soft, and greasy to the touch. It is found as an alteration product of magnesium silicates in ultramafic igneous rocks, or as an impurity in dolomitic marble. Talc is quarried extensively in Italy. When finely crushed, it is used as a cosmetic (talcum powder), but is also used in the paper, rubber and paint industries.
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