Condoms

I don’t know why it hadn’t occurred to me to consider condoms and the plastic they contain. Yesterday when I went to Lauren Singer’s blog, “Trash is for Tossers”, I came upon  a recent post of hers about the dangers that plastic plays in condoms. It turns out there are carcinogenic nitrosamines in condoms, which (if you watch the interview at the link above) you’ll discover don’t really have any necessary role to play in the condom in the first place. The interview is with a woman who works for Sustain, a company that manufactures nitrosamine-free condoms. This is all quite scary given the fact that we know vaginal tissue can absorb carcinogens much more readily and quickly than one’s skin.

There is also a petition in the U.S., initiated by the Breast Cancer Fund to make it illegal for nitrosamines to go into condoms. Here is the text of their petition and you can sign it by clicking this link:

We know that condoms are critical to safe sex by preventing sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV/AIDS and pregnancy. But a recent study found that one-third of the 23 condoms tested released a class of carcinogens called nitrosamines at levels that exceeded EU leaching standards for nitrosamines in toys. No scientific body or world government, including the FDA, has set limits for safe levels of nitrosamines in condoms. However, in 2010 the World Health Organization and the United Nationals Population Fund recommended that manufacturers minimize the presence of nitrosamines in condoms.

 Certainly, this all gives new meaning to the words safe sex!
It also makes me wonder what is the least toxic and lease wasteful form of birth control for women. And, of course, for the planet as condoms are all too often a form of waste just tossed aside on a road or a beach. It would be nice to have a less toxic alternative for our bodies and for the earth.
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