Talcum powder is made from a mineral called talc, which is composed of magnesium, silicon and oxygen. In its natural form, talc contains asbestos, which is carefully removed from consumer products.
Talc is generally divided into three categories. The first type is cosmetic and food-grade talc, which is used in baby powder and pharmaceuticals, and basketball players use it to keep their hands dry. The second type of talc is a high-talc soapstone that is used for electrical switchboards and lab countertops because it resists heat, electricity and acids. The third type is industrial talc that is used as a lubricant.