Two doctors from Dallas, Texas are sticking to their guns after claiming that the male condom can cause cancer in the woman.
The culprit, they claim, is talc, a dry lubricant used on the surface of condoms. Studies have linked talc to ovarian cancer and to fibrosis on fallopian tubes, thus making the woman infertile.
Drs Candace Kasper and P J Chandler point out that the American Food and Drug Administration has recognized the dangers when talc has been applied to surgical gloves, and so banned the practice, but still allowed the substance to be coated on condoms.
Last March, when the doctors first voiced their fears in the pages of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), they urged condom manufacturers to stop applying talc.
In response, Mayer Laboratories, based in Oakland, California, claim they do not apply talc to their Kimono and Sagami condoms, although they were not the ones tested by the two doctors.
"We support all efforts to eliminate the use of talc in the manufacturing of latex condoms because there may be pathologic consequences from exposure to talc," writes David Mayer in JAMA.
The Lifestyle condom, produced by Ansell Products, and which was the subject of the original warning, has not had talc applied since January 1994, the manufacturers state (JAMA, October 25, 1995).