First, some geology. Any stream flowing from glacial melt will look murky. That's because the glaciers are busily grinding up all the rocks in their pack, turning big rocks into little, tiny rocks that are easily washed away by water. The makeup of that water-borne sediment will depend on what the surrounding mountains are made of. Mont Blanc is mostly granite, so the dust that results from its destruction contains feldspar, quartz, mica, and several other minerals. Talc is often found in association with quartz, so I suppose there is talc in the runoff.
Technically, talc is "Magnesium Silicate Hydroxide," a soft mineral that is used in a wide variety of everyday things, including paint and in some electrical equipment. It is, of course, also the main ingredient in talcum powder. Talc is also used as a filler in some medicines.Anyway, I suppose if you added talc to your hamburger every day, in time you might feel some ill effects (mainly, it would grind down your teeth). But the tiny bits of itor other granite by-productsin Mont Blanc water pose no risk at all. The stuff will just pass right through your system.
As for filtering the water, you should do that anyway to ensure you get rid of giardia and other parasites. Here, minerals in the water can cause problems by clogging your filter. So if you scoop water from a murky glacial stream, let it sit in a bottle or small bucket for several minutes, until it clarifies as the rock dust settles. Then filter.
Our mission to inspire readers to get outside has never been more critical. In recent years, Outside Online has reported on groundbreaking research linking time in nature to improved mental and physical health, and we’ve kept you informed about the unprecedented threats to America’s public lands. Our rigorous coverage helps spark important debates about wellness and travel and adventure, and it provides readers an accessible gateway to new outdoor passions. Time outside is essential—and we can help you make the most of it. Making a financial contribution to Outside Online only takes a few minutes and will ensure we can continue supplying the trailblazing, informative journalism that readers like you depend on. We hope you’ll support us. Thank you.Contribute to Outside →