Author: Jeffrey Hollender

I’ve been in the toxics industry for years, and when it comes to cosmetics and household goods, I’ve seen it all: parabens, BPA, phthalates, just to name a few. But it wasn’t until I got serious about starting Sustain that I learned about nitrosamines – a carcinogenic chemical found in food, water and rubber products. We founded Sustain on the premise that our condoms would be a more natural and sustainable alternative to the condoms currently sold on the market today, and our first order of business was to make sure that there were no detectable nitrosamines in our products.

We’re proud that we’ve succeeded in making our condoms free of detectable nitrosamines. But it goes beyond that. We believe that businesses today should be radically transparent, which means telling the public both the good and the not-so-good information about their products. At Sustain, we’re committed to the idea that you have a right to know what’s in the products you’re putting in and on your body. We’re on a mission to get the word out – to let you know what’s in the condoms you’re using. That’s why we teamed up with the Reproductive Health Technologies Project to study which condom brands still contain nitrosamines.

The results, well, they were even more alarming than we had expected. We knew that Sustain would have zero detectable nitrosamines because we go through specific processes to remove the chemical. However, we were shocked to find out that out of 10 brands tested, 8 contain nitrosamines. The average level of nitrosamines was 57 parts per billion (ppb) and one condom was found to have nitrosamine levels as high as 443ppb – more than 30 times the level the FDA determined safe for rubber on baby bottles.

After seeing the results of this study, we’re convinced that this is a big issue that needs to be addressed. The FDA currently doesn’t set any limits on acceptable levels of nitrosamines in condoms, and we believe that has to change. The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics started this petition to let the FDA know that we expect them to regulate carcinogens in the products that we use and trust. Please, sign the petition and share it with everyone you know. Help us tell the FDA that condoms are critical to safe sex and they should all be free of detectable nitrosamines.

- Jeffrey Hollender, Co-Founder of Sustain

For more of Jeffrey's posts, visit his blog.

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