Just a few weeks, Germany's green party demanded that their government launch an investigation into high levels of dangerous chemicals found in sex toys which can cause everything from infertility to diabetes.
The chemicals in question are Phthalates, which are a family of chemical rubber softeners used in many sex toys. Phthalates can be found in all kinds of things such as plastic shower curtains or even your car dashboard - and that might be alright because you are not that intimate with your car dash board. But putting Pthalates in your sex toy is entirely another matter because of how close and up personal we get with them! Just let your mind wander for a minute on that one.
"Consumers must be protected when it comes to sexual health. Feigned embarrassment or false taboos should not prevent information getting out and checks being done," MP Volker Beck said in his call to the German government.
In the United States the FDA sites Phthalates as a probable human carcinogen. But there is no legislation pending to keep them out of our sex toys. In studies, they were found in high doeses to cause cancer in rats, and even in lower doses - the rats had some serious problem such as genital development and fetal development, which produces stillborn rats.
When Phthalates were looked at in humans, there some evidence that phthalates interfere with sperm production and possibly infant genital development. Right now, we are working with limited studies, as there has been much more research done on animals than on humans. But the FDA and Greenpeace have released statement that these chemical present a possible health risk to the human population.
Governor Schwarzenegger past a toxic toy ban to keep Phthalates out of children's toys - but what about grown up toys? So much of this is unfortunately puritan and political.
If kids toys are starting to be protected why not adult sex toys? Children's toys are often put in their mouths (intimate contact) and that is why they are being banned, but adult sex toys are also interacted with in intimate ways and put into mouths and other body parts! But apparently the sex toy industry is not highly regulated and are often labeled as "novelty toys" (huge loop hole), which translates into "you are not really suppose to use them - they are meant as gag gifts".
Therefore they do no rate any government-sponsored research into whether the sex toys are actually safe for us to use. Pretty amazing huh?
Because people are still filled with shame around buying and using sex toys we have found ourselves in a lovely Catch 22. Because of our shame and embarrassment over using and buying sex toys, the sex toy industry often gets away with using materials that are dangerous.
And when was the last time you saw a Senator or Congressman want to stand up for healthy sex toys? So - as a consequence, very little is being done to keep us safe, including this information getting out into the free press. Therefore, American consumers (many of whom have sex toys in their night stand table) are unsuspectingly using a wide array of sexy toys that can be toxic not only to themselves but to their eventually offspring,
You can be proactive when you buy your sex toys. Brands like JimmyJane are phthalate free and state so on their packaging and website. Just like you were buying your organic groceries, read the labels to make sure that they are phthalate-free.
Another hint is to avoid rubber jelly sex toys that do not list their ingredients! Or to be on the safe side when choosing phthalate-free sex toys is to pick hard plastic products, silicone, glass, metal and wood toys. These are usually phthalate-free. The good news is that many sex toy stores have developed phthalate-free sections - even on line. And there are plenty of soft rubber options available.
So if you haven't bought a new sex toy in a long time, it might be time to discard whatever is laying in that night stand and go shopping!