Sex Toys and Outgassing

Emily Gertz reveals that sex toys may be hazardous to your reproductive health:

A study in 2000 by German chemist Hans Ulrich Krieg found that 10 dangerous chemicals gassed out of some sex toys available in Europe, including diethylhexyl phthalates. Some had phthalate concentrations as high as 243,000 parts per million -- a number characterized as "off the charts" by Davis Baltz of the health advocacy group Commonweal. "We were really shocked," Krieg told the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's Marketplace in a 2001 report on the sex-toy industry. "I have been doing this analysis of consumer goods for more than 10 years, and I've never seen such high results."

The danger, says Baltz, is that heat, agitation, and extended shelf life can accelerate the leaching of phthalates. "In addition, [phthalates are] lipophilic, meaning they are drawn to fat," he says. "If they come into contact with solutions or substances that have lipid content, the fat could actually help draw the phthalates out of the plastic." Janice Cripe, a former buyer for Blowfish -- a Bay Area-based online company whose motto is "Good Products for Great Sex" -- confirms the instability of jelly toys: "They would leak," she says. "They'd leach this sort of oily stuff. They would turn milky" and had a "kind of plasticky, rubbery odor." She stopped ordering many jelly toys during her time at Blowfish, even though their lower prices made them popular. |Grist.org|

Check out the entire article to learn what sex toys you should avoid and which ones you should embrace...

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