I’m not sure what is more dangerous – sex toys made with PVC and/or containing phthalates – or the alternative, glass sex toys. I squirmed just typing those last two words. PVC, broken glass, PVC, broken glass. Talk about a Catch-22! Then again, there is the alternative of not using sex toys, so there’s that.
Anyway, many jelly-like sex toys (especially the cheap ones) are made with PVC and almost all jelly toys contain phthalates. To recap, PVC (polyvinyl chloride) is considered the Poison Plastic. During it’s lifecycle PVC releases phthalates (carcinogen), dioxin (carcinogen), and vinyl chloride (carcinogen). Do you really want to be putting that stuff in your private parts? Ugh, I think not.
There is some question about whether the pthalates from sex toys actually leaches into your system. The Danish Environmental Protection Agency, who studied phthalates in sex toys, recently determined that even heavy usage of dildoes (more than one hour a day – who has that kind of time, I ask you?) doesn’t pose a significant health risk except for pregnant or breastfeeding women. The report also suggests the following:
- avoid oil-based lubricants as they increase the transfer of phthalates
- don’t buy PVC toys
- use PVC toys with a condom
According to Greenpeace Netherlands, the two toys you should absolutely avoid are the “Spectra Gel Anal Plug” or the “Crystal Jelly Double Dong” which contain “extremely high concentrations of phthalate plasticisers which allegedly pose a risk to human health and the environment” (um, I can think of a few other reasons to avoid those particular items, but I digress).
The other option that is considered totally safe (except I keep visualizing broken glass) is glass sex toys. No PVC and no phthalates.
(photo, complete with PVC Barbie, courtesy of Mattel.com)