Millions of condoms supplied free under India's family planning scheme are being used to plug radiator leaks in vehicles and melted down to make toys, health officials have revealed. Many are also dyed and sold as balloons to children. Federal Health Ministry officials in New Delhi say an estimated 450 million condoms, out of 890 million produced for free distribution, are misused. Toy manufacturers are large consumers of condoms, melting down huge quantities and using the high-quality latex recovered to make a variety of products. India spends about 550 million rupees (HK$126.9 million) annually to manufacture condoms. But the latest findings reveal the misuse is on such a vast scale that the population control programme is under threat. This has resulted in new measures to curb the abuse. Condoms are now being lubricated with silicon oil which is difficult to melt off, making them useless to toy makers. Packets of 10 have also been introduced instead of the previous 100-condom packs which were easier for bulk sellers to handle. Family planning officials say one of the greatest problems is the widespread belief in India that anything that is free is worthless. They say this is the reason many Indians will not use the condoms.