What You Need to Know About Condoms and Cancer


There’s been some current again and forth on the planet of sexual well being about a publication by the Reproductive Well being Applied sciences Challenge (RHTP) on nitrosamines in latex condoms. The RHTP report notes that the “use of condoms shouldn’t be lowered or undermined due to the presence of nitrosamines in some condoms,” but its findings have been used to justify some scary claims about potential well being dangers of some condoms. So, what’s the actual deal?

What You Need to Know About Condoms and CancerNitrosa-whatsits?

Nitrosamines are chemical compounds that type in the course of the manufacturing of latex, in some meals, and in tobacco smoke. When it comes to on a regular basis publicity to those compounds, there are detectable ranges inballoons, gloves, child bottle nipples, pacifiers, cosmetics, beer, deli meats—and sure, condoms. We all know that being uncovered to an excessive amount of of those compounds over time results in an elevated danger for most cancers. However ought to condom customers be nervous?

The brief reply is not any.

Right here’s why:

  • The report seemed on the quantity of nitrosamines launched by a condom as an alternative of how a lot is absorbed by the pores and skin. They usually acknowledge there’s a distinction. Different analysis on nitrosamines exhibits that pores and skin sometimes absorbs round 1% per hour of publicity, a actually small quantity. The vagina, anus, mouth, and the glans of the penis are mucous membranes, which can imply they take in greater than common pores and skin, however we don’t know what distinction that makes with out extra analysis. It’s attainable that even the condoms that launched detectable ranges of nitrosamines aren’t vital sources of the compounds as a result of such a small quantity is absorbed.
  • The RHTP report confirmed that Durex Additional Delicate, Life Skyn, Life UltralLubePlus, Life Flavors and Colours, Trojan Bareskin, Maintain, and the FC2 feminine condom had no detectable nitrosamines in them. RHTP contacted the producers of the condoms with the very best ranges of nitrosamines and half reported “that they’re conscious of the difficulty and taking steps to watch and scale back the degrees of nitrosamines of their merchandise.” So even these manufacturers might quickly be nitrosamine-free.

And we in all probability don’t have to remind savvy Bedsider readers that condoms shield us from issues which might be undoubtedly dangerous to our well being, like chlamydia, gonorrhea, HPV, HIV, and hepatitis.

Now, for those who work in a manufacturing unit making condoms…

Analysis has proven that folks working in factories and warehouses with a lot of latex round do have a better publicity to nitrosamines, particularly once they work there for many years. As with all different chemical exposures in our surroundings, it’s all a matter of scale. For those who’re apprehensive about chemical compounds in your setting, take a look at these useful suggestions about decreasing your publicity.

picture: Sharon Morrow, by way of Flickr


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