The Internet has provided us with so many wonderful things: stronger social networks, faster bank transactions, Grumpy The Cat… but it has also provided an accountability-free environment for shonky sex toy retailers.
This free-for-all environment is the setting for the story of phthalates – a complex class of chemicals you need to know well before you stick anything bought online inside yourself (or others!).
Know What You’re Putting In Your Body
Phthalates are an additive to many plastic products, including many sex toy products manufactured overseas. Since the early 2000s, many concerns have been raised about the role played by phthalates in a variety of disorders including organ damage, hormone disruption and even cancer.
The presence of phthalates in many sex toys has raised serious concerns amongst many environmental agencies including the Danish Environment Protection Authority and GreenPeace UK. In particular, the known interaction of phthalates with hormones means that use of phthalate containing products is of particular concern for pregnant and breastfeeding women.
Many countries have begun to gradually phase out or ban the presence of phthalates in sex toys. However, there are still many disreputable manufacturers still selling vibrators, dildos and butt plugs containing phthalate additives.
Because of this, if you are purchasing a plastic sex toy you should always check before purchase that it is labelled phthalate-free.
Written by Jarryd Bartle. Follow him on Twitter.