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October 25, 1995

Talc and Condoms-Reply

JAMA. 1995;274(16):1269-1270. doi:10.1001/jama.1995.03530160021025

In Reply.  —We appreciate the interest of Mayer Laboratories in talc-free condoms. In recent communications, we requested specific identification and proof of safety of all substances placed on the surface of Kimono and Sagami condoms. For proprietary reasons, they declined our request. We are confident that the material we described is talc; therefore, the burden of proof rests with Mayer Laboratories to identify the needle-shaped birefringent particulates we observed on the surface of these condoms (Figure, left).Many condoms (including those distributed by Mayer Laboratories) were coated with other refractile particles. These substances probably represent vegetable starches, silica, mica, and diatomaceous earth (Figure, left). Accurate identification of these particulates at the molecular level involves examination with energy dispersive x-ray analysis and/or infrared spectrophotometry. This work is in progress.Ansell Products wrote to us (J. W. Moushall, written communication, December 5, 1994) that they "concurred with [our] concerns regarding talc" and

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