Volume 91, Issue 42

Wednesday, November 12, 1997

Downey fresh


Condom company blows latest job

By Sara Marett
Gazette Staff

Those who practise safe sex should keep their eyes open for two lots of Lifestyles brand condoms which have been recalled in Canada due to nine customer complaints of breakage in the U.S..

The two lots which have been recalled are Lifestyles' extra-strength with spermicide, expiring Feb. 1998, lot number 950-203-7900 and the same brand expiring Nov. 1999, lot number 961-030-2100. Eight other brands were also recalled, but in the United States only. The condoms are manufactured by Ansell Canada in Quebec. Some of the recalled condoms were shipped to retail outlets, but most to the public sector, said Sam Vella, sales and product manager for Ansell.

After Ansell received the complaints of breakage, it was determined the problem was product rather than user-related, Vella said. "It was most likely that the spermicide affected the latex, causing breakage at the top of the condom."

Vella explained approximately 132,000 condoms are affected in the recall and most were distributed to public health units. "Eighty per cent of these lots have already been sold and most likely used in good form, so there is really no need to worry, the product was good," Vella said. He added Ansell decided to recall the Canadian distributed condoms to follow suit with the American complaint as a precautionary measure.

Western's Student Health Services health education coordinator Cindy Camp said SHS did receive this brand of condom from the London/Middlesex Health Unit, but there is no record of what lot SHS received. She added the condoms they are currently providing are not part of the recalled lots but some of the ones SHS distributed in the summer may have been.

Myrna Fisk, a nurse in the communicable diseases division of the London/Middlesex Health Unit, said according to their records, the condoms they received from Ansell and then distributed to SHS were not part of the two recalled lots, but they can not be 100 per cent sure. She added they also supplied Lifestyles condoms to the AIDS Committee of London, the Inter-community Health Centre and the Options Clinic.

Michael Hart, manager of communities access project at ACOL, said the condoms they received from the Health Unit are not part of the recalled lots. "We have alerted our staff and volunteers to spread the word however," he said.

Vella added Ansell will replace recalled condoms and it is best for consumers to return them to Ansell rather than a retail outlet. The address for Ansell Canada is: c/o Sam Vella, 105 Lauder St., Cowansville, PQ, J2K 2K8.

To Contact The News Department: gaznews@julian.uwo.ca

Copyright The Gazette 1997