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March 15, 1995

Possible Morbidity in Women From Talc on Condoms

Author Affiliations

Southwest Dermatopathology Consultants
Ambulatory Plastic Surgery Center Dallas, Tex

JAMA. 1995;273(11):846-847. doi:10.1001/jama.1995.03520350028021

To the Editor.  —We have written this letter to alert all physicians that female partners of condom users face a health risk that is unrelated to pregnancy, the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, or sexually transmitted diseases. This risk is due to talc, a dry lubricant present on the surface of condoms. Talc is a known sclerosing agent, which if introduced into the female reproductive tract may result in fallopian tube fibrosis with resultant infertility.1 Of even greater concern are studies linking talc to ovarian cancer.2-4Our interest in talc arose fortuitously during a clinico-pathologic study of fibrotic capsules surrounding silicone gel— filled breast implants. We found talc, an unwanted contaminant, within 70% of the capsules evaluated.5 Microscopic examination of powder on the surface of archived surgical gloves revealed that gloves manufactured before 1991 probably represented the source of talc found in implant cavities (unpublished data, Plastic Surgery Research

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