Fullers Earth Clay is an Attapulgite Clay powder.
Fuller Earth is an attapulgite clay material, and is used for increasing viscosity in saturated salt water drilling fluids. Fuller's earth is any clay material that has the capability to decolorize oil or other liquids without the use of harsh chemical treatment. Fuller's earth typically consists of palygorskite (attapulgite) or bentonite.
Modern uses of fuller's earth include as absorbents for oil, grease, and animal waste (cat litter) and as a carrier for pesticides and fertilizers. Minor uses include filtering, clarifying, and decolorizing; active and inactive ingredient in beauty products; and as a filler in paint, plaster, adhesives, and pharmaceuticals. It also has a number of uses in the film industry and on stage.
In addition to its original use in the fulling of raw fibers, fuller's earth is now utilized in a number of industries. Most important applications make use of the minerals' natural absorbent properties in products sold as absorbents or filters.
Treatment for poisoning. Even given the risk of salmonella, the clay content of soil could save the life of a person exposed to paraquat, for example, as paraquat is intended to break down in soil.
Decontamination: Fuller's earth is used by military and civil emergency service personnel to decontaminate the clothing and equipment of servicemen and CBRN (chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear) responders who have been contaminated with chemical agents.
Cleaning agent: In the Indian subcontinent, it has been used to clean marble. As a good absorbent, it removes dust, dirt, impurities and stains from the surface and replenishes the shine of the marble. It has been used numerous times to clean the Taj Mahal, India with positive results.
Litter box: Since the late 1940s, fuller's earth has been used in commercial cat litter.
Cosmetology and dermatology: The same properties that make fuller's earth effective at removing oils, dirt, and impurities from wool are also effective on human hair and skin.
Film industry: Fuller's earth has been used extensively for many years in motion pictures for a variety of applications. In the area of special effects, it is used in pyrotechnics explosions and dust clouds, because it spreads farther and higher than most natural soils, resulting in a blast that looks larger. It is also safer than naturally occurring soil, should the blast spray hit actors. The material was used in the tornado sequence in The Wizard of Oz as the artificial twister plowed its way toward the farmhouse. Fuller's earth is also widely used by the make-up, props, wardrobe, and set dresser departments, because it is considered a "clean" dirt, safer to use around people, and it cleans up easily. However, health concerns in this regard have been debated. Fuller's earth is available in small quantities by make-up suppliers for use in making the face and body appear dirty. It is used by props technicians to make furniture look dusty. Wardrobe dressers use a small, loose-mesh cloth bag filled with fuller's earth to apply it to clothing to make it appear dusty. Set dressers use fuller's earth to change paved streets into dirt roads, to create dust trailing from a moving vehicle over a dirt road, or to indicate a vehicle trail over untravelled ground.