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May 08, 2005

When the Rubbers Hit the Road

Guest: cntodd

And in other news…

[From the Hindustan Times] Only a quarter of condoms made in India are used for sex, most of the others are used to make saris, toys and bathroom slippers, a newspaper reported on Saturday.

The condoms are valuable to manufacturers because of the lubricant on them. Sari weavers place the condoms on their thread spools and the lubricant on the prophylactics is rubbed off on the thread, making it move faster through their sewing machines, the newspaper quoted an Indian industry official as saying.

Sari makers also turn the condom's inside out, place them on their fingers and use the high-quality lubricant to polish gold and silver threads used in the traditional Indian women's outfits. India manufactures more than 1 billion condoms annually to check population growth and curb the spread of HIV/AIDS.

I was a little shocked so I did a quick Google of “India condoms” and found far more than I bargained for.

A BBC News story from 2004 even reported that one Indian city goes through 600,000 condoms a day just to make saris.

Other uses I found:

  • Rural villagers have used them as disposable water containers
  • India's military have covered gun and tank barrels with condoms as protection against dust
  • Road-building contractors use them to mix with concrete and tar and use the mixture to construct roads, rendering road surfaces smooth and resistant to cracks
  • Builders spread a bed of condoms beneath cement plastering on roofs, ingeniously preventing water seepage during the monsoon rains

[X-posted at Freiheit und Wissen]

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Comments

US military in Nam used condums to cover their rifle barrels also. Don't think we do it today - its not standard issue like it was back then.

The condom over the weapon barrel trick is as old as latex condoms. Especially in desert environments. And yes, the troops today, still do it.

i saw this a couple of weeks ago actually...

i was totally amazed, especially cause i am from india and this is the first i am hearing these usages...

Not just as far back as Nam, as far back as WWII, American troops used condoms on rifles. Why do you think they started the "this is my rifle, this is my gun, this is for shooting, this is for fun" chant?

Scientists use condoms a lot. For instance, if you put a condom on a flower you prevent it from being pollinated. A friend of mine who works on crabs once put an order for a thousand condoms, plus a water-bed (a great way to transport a bunch of sea-water full of crabs on the back of your truck back to the University). He was denied the order! Another friend of mine who works in germany was also denied an order of a few hundred condoms she needed for her research on rabbits. In general, condoms are good at shielding a part of an organism from its environment without doing any damage or discomfort to that organism.

* Rural villagers have used them as disposable water containers

Good (assuming that they're not lubricated)

*India's military have covered gun and tank barrels with condoms as protection against dust

Very good.

* Road-building controactors use them to mix with concrete and tar and use the mixture to construct roads, rendering road surfaces smooth and resistant to cracks
*Builders spread a bed of condoms beneath cement plastering on roofs, ingeniously preventing water seepage during the monsoon rains

Uh...wouldn't it be better to use a latex sheet in these cases?

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