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Toxic Sex Toys
Examples of Toxins in Sexual Products

Below are a few examples of toxins that can be found in adult novelties. Manufacturers classify sex toys as novelties rather than as medical devices to avoid the huge financial requirements, studies and verification that a product is able to address a medical issue (which sexual pleasure is not). Therefore, because sex toys are classified as a novelty they are not regulated for health concerns by the FDA and may contain toxins.

Parbens -

These are found in personal lubricants and other sexual products such as moisturizers, shaving gels, sex toy cleaners, personal lubricants, topical stimulants and more.

Potential Health Risks:

  • Alters estrogen levels in women, increasing chances of such diseases as breast cancer.
  • Can induce allergic reactions such as contact dermatitis and rosacea.
  • May decrease sperm count in males.
  • May contribute to the development of skin cancer.
  • Interferes with healthy fetal development in pregnant women.

Phthalates -

Most commonly found in sexual products such as vibrators, dildos as well as some fragranced products.

Myth: You can determine if phthalates are present if there is a 'new car' smell; however, phthalates do not have a scent and thus, cannot be detected by smell.

Potential Health Risks: Phthalates are endocrine disrupters that have been linked to - reduced sperm count, breast cancer, liver damage, ADHD, asthma and allergies, insulin resistance, metabolic interference (contributing to obesity), premature breast development in girls, abnormal genital development in males (small penis, undescended testicles), autism and low birth weight in babies.

Triclosan -

Found in sex toy cleaners and genital hygiene products. Triclosan is commonly found in many antibacterial and antifungal products.

Potential Health Risks: Like phthalates, Triclosan is an endocrine disrupter and has been linked to - decreasing bacterial resistance, allergies, abnormal thyroid functioning and disrupts normal growth. When combined with chlorine in tap water to form chloroform, it has been linked to cancer.

2-Butoxyethanol -

This is found in dildos and vibrators that use latex paints. It is also found in some sex toy cleaners that are in the form of liquid soaps.

Potential Health Risks: Irritation of mucous membranes of the throat, nose and eyes. When there is heavy exposure by breathing it, getting it on your skin or eating it there is the potential that it can lead to pulmonary edema, metabolic acidosis, hypotension, hemolysis, and coma.

Lead Paint -

Found in some dildos and vibrators, especially those made of glass.

Potential Health Risks: Causes damage to the nervous system, stunted growth and delayed development. It can also cause kidney damage.


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