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My Chemical Romance: A Primer on Phthalates

The latest chemical to come under scrutiny in a string of many health concerns is phthalates. Phthalates is a classification of chemicals used to soften hard plastics. This chemical family can be found in a wide variety of consumer goods from plastic water bottles to medical equipment. They are everywhere including sex toys. Some are food grade, some are toxic.

There are preliminary studies regarding the dangers involved with phthalates, but none involving comprehensive human testing and no studies directly focused on sex toys. This does not mean that there is no need for concern on the part of the sex toy consumer, but nor has a defined risk to the consumer been determined.

In 2004 the European Union banned several chemicals in the phthalate family from being used in items that were targeted for use by children. This raises the question of”If my toddler should not put phthalates in his mouth, should I really be shoving them up my ass?”  This article will attempt to answer that concern and help you come to conclusions that will work best and be safest for your particular set of circumstances.

Stout FeeldoeMany companies have always avoided phthalates-Tantus, Fun Factory, and Vibratex to name a few. Other companies are moving away from using them. Doc Johnson has a growing number of items that do not contain any phthalates and has introduced a proprietary compound call Sil-a-gel which contains no toxic phthalates or latex.

The surest way to avoid phthalates in soft sex toys is to only purchase and use toys that are made from the highest grade of silicone often called “platinum” silicone. This is the perfect solution for someone who is concerned about possible toxins who can afford to spend top dollar on sex toys.

The buyer must be watchful when shopping for silicone products. Many manufacturers claim that the product is made of silicone on their packaging, but a simple sniff test sometimes proves that the product is not made only of silicon. Silicon is odorless and tasteless. If the toy has any type of smell to it, it may be part silicone but most likely contains fillers which may cause allergic reactions. Treat these items as a blend and use a condom over them.

CondomsAnother alternative might be to avoid using the softer toys and using pyrex or hard plastics instead. Nah…variety is the spice of life. So what if you want to have fun on a budget? Or what if you have toys that you bought in the past and want to continue to enjoy? Place a condom over the toy before use, this will extend the wear of the toy in the future and make it safe to use in the present.

You should also use condoms on any toys made of porous materials or toys that you share with other people. Especially if those toys have any seams, creases or are made of a porous material as these items could harbor and grow harmful bacteria.

There is no need to panic over phthalates, but the situation bears watching. For those who have concerns, a few minor adjustments such as paying closer attention to materials when selecting toys and using condoms when you are unsure of a toy’s composition will keep most sex toy aficionados safe and happy.

This guide was written by Justine Case, Sex Toy Connoseur