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Rare disease
Pulmonary talcosis 10 years after brief teenage exposure to cosmetic talcum powder

Summary

Pulmonary talcosis is a rare but debilitating variant of pneumoconiosis often presenting with isolated non-specific symptoms of progressive exertional dyspnoea or cough. Occupational exposure to talc dust and intravenous drug abuse are well-recognised aetiological factors with only a few cases related to cosmetic talc exposure being reported to date. The authors report a case of a young woman in whom a mere 4 month ritual of inhaling cosmetic talcum powder led to full-blown pulmonary talcosis being diagnosed 10 years later. The importance of a taking a pertinent history relating to environmental exposures in all patients presenting with respiratory symptoms is re-established here.

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