Magazine tests raise concern over reliability of city-issued condoms


In an article about overall improvements in condom safety, Consumer Reports magazine raised concerns about condoms made available by health clinics in Baltimore schools.

The magazine reported that six of 120 condoms burst after being inflated with four gallons of air -- twice the failure rate allowed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The test is designed to measure the likelihood of a condom breaking under normal use.

The brand, LifeStyles Spermicidally Lubricated, won the magazine's recommendation when condoms purchased at retail outlets met standards, raising the possibility that just the lot sold to the schools had defective condoms.

The condoms are supplied to city schools, public health clinics and universities by the state health department.

Officials were looking into the matter, according to Monique Sheppard, spokeswoman for the city health department.

Pub Date: 5/18/99

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