Magnesium stearate is used to make large scale production of tablets and capsule of dietary supplements and pharmaceuticals possible. Because magnesium stearate has a high melting point (88 °C) it is used as a lubricant to prevent ingredients from sticking to manufacturing equipment during the compression of chemical powders into solid tablets. This chemical excipient is produced through reacting sodium stearate with magnesium sulfate, in a way similar to the production of other hydrogenated oils.
Human Toxicity Excerpts:
/HUMAN EXPOSURE STUDIES/ ...DEATHS HAVE BEEN CAUSED BY ACCIDENTAL INHALATION OF THE /BABY DUSTING/ POWDER, /CONTAINING MAGNESIUM STEARATE/.
/HUMAN EXPOSURE STUDIES/ Slightly toxic by ingestion.
When heated to decomposition it emits acrid smoke and toxic fumes.
Other Hazardous Reaction:
Source for the above cited materials: Toxnet: Toxicology Data Network
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