In a race where size does matter, the new record-holder for the world's thinnest latex condom has shaved 0.002 millimetres off the previous benchmark.
The Aoni condom from Chinese manufacturer, Guangzhou Daming United Rubber Products, has an average thickness of 0.036 millimeters, according to Guinness World Records at a news conference last week. A condom made in Japan held the last record at 0.038 millimetres.
In comparison, a human hair has an average thickness of 0.06 millimetres, around the same as the Trojan Ultra Thin, sold in North America.
"It was quite tricky," managing director, Victor Chan, told The Province of the attempts to create the ultra-thin prophylactic. "It took a lot of work to arrange the right mix and fine-tune the ingredients to give us the right performance."
Chan's company plans to launch a vibrating condom to add to its current seven models, according to its website.
Chan grew up in Vancouver and is an engineering graduate of the University of British Columbia, reported The Province. He returned to Hong Kong to work in his family's business.
The Aoni condom is mostly sold in mainland China for now, where the company manufactures 200 million condoms annually. The ultra-thin condom has been approved by Health Canada, according to the company, but has yet to be marketed in North America.
A Japanese company has created an even thinner condom but it's made from polyurethane, which is more brittle than latex.
Manufacturers claim thinner condoms allow for more pleasure for men during sex.
Condom research is a burgeoning field. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is offering $100,000 in grant money for an improved condom that will encourage more usage to prevent disease and unwanted pregnancies.
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