Recent reports have circulated claiming that students in Durgapur, India, are purchasing flavored condoms not for their intended contraceptive purposes, but for a peculiar alternative use – boiling them in water to achieve a supposed high. These claims have garnered attention and raised questions about the potential risks and effects associated with this unconventional practice. In this article, we will explore the validity of these claims and provide expert insights into the matter.
The Science Behind Flavored Condoms
Flavored condoms are typically made from polyisoprene, a component of natural rubber, while their enticing flavors are imparted by glycerin. The synthetic resin polyurethane is also used to enhance durability and stretchability. However, it is important to note that there is no scientific evidence to suggest that the aromatic compounds in polyurethane can induce an intoxicating effect, as claimed in some reports.
Udayan Basak, a polymer chemistry research scholar, acknowledges the potential for an effect but emphasizes that no practical experiments have been conducted to confirm these claims. Basak explains that when flavored condoms are boiled in water and left for an extended period, the breakdown of polyurethane may release ethylene glycol, a type of alcohol. This, in turn, is believed to produce an intoxicating effect. However, these assertions remain unverified.
Sanjith Saseedharan, a consultant and head of critical care at the SL Raheja Hospital in Mumbai, supports the possibility of hydrocarbon and alcohol release from flavored condoms when soaked in water for a long time. However, he compares this effect to that of common household items like glue, sanitizers, cough syrups, and nail polish removers, cautioning against the assumption that it leads to a desirable high.
Potential Risks and Consequences
While consuming products such as whiteners, cough syrups, and flavored condoms is legal in many places, they can still pose severe health risks. Joydeep Ghosh, an internal medicine consultant with Fortis Hospital in Kolkata, highlights the dangers associated with drinking the water used to soak boiled flavored condoms. It can lead to intoxication, addiction, and adversely affect the lungs, kidneys, and nervous system. Long-term use may even result in mental abnormalities, violent behavior, unconsciousness, and, in extreme cases, death.
While claims of achieving a cheap high through boiled and soaked flavored condoms have gained attention, it is essential to rely on scientific research and expert opinions. The alleged intoxicating effects are yet to be scientifically proven, and the potential risks and consequences associated with such practices are substantial. It is crucial to prioritize health and make responsible choices, seeking professional advice when needed.
– B S Swathi