May 28, 2004

N-Nitrosamine & Condoms

The chemical bath that is sex gets "richer" all the time. With the incipient removal of Nonoxynol-9 from products, such as condoms, which come in contact with your mucus membranes (read your vagina or meatus) you'd think we'd be getting to the bottom of the chemical soup to which we expose ourselves. But no.

The Chemical and Veterinary Investigation Institute in Stuttgart, Germany has just released a study showing that when the latex in condoms comes in contact with your bodily fluids it can release the substance N-Nitrosamine. N-Nitrosamine has long been known to be a potential problem and when labor in manufacturing concerns which produce latex or rubber they are required to wear the proper equipment to prevent exposure to the chemical. When exposed to this potent animal carcinogen there are risks of cancer, in addition to possible headaches, fever, weakness, or among other problems, jaundice. This same chemical is a risk in any and all rubber products, even those such as rubber baby nipples, to give one example.

It is not clear from the article whether or not latex allergies (to the milk protein used in the manufacture of latex) have been factored into the study. Also of interest is what exactly exposure to bodily fluids really means. When using a latex condom properly with an adequate amount of lubricant the actual exposure to bodily fluids is far less than would be the case in a non-lubricated condom. So there are many questions I have from this study.

UPDATE If you are interested here is a paper on the use of accelerators in latex manufacture, protein allergies, & N-Nitrosamine.

Posted by filchyboy at May 28, 2004 01:38 PM | TrackBack

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