Warning over 'dangerous' chemicals in sex toys

8th September 2006, Comments 0 comments

8 September 2006, AMSTERDAM — Sex toys contain extremely high concentrations of Phthalate plasticisers which allegedly pose a risk to human health and the environment, Greenpeace Netherlands warned on Friday.

8 September 2006

AMSTERDAM — Sex toys contain extremely high concentrations of Phthalate plasticisers which allegedly pose a risk to human health and the environment, Greenpeace Netherlands warned on Friday.

Phthalates (pronounced THAL-ates) are organic chemicals produced from oil and are the most commonly used plasticisers in the world. They are a family of chemical substances that have been in use for about 50 years, primarily to make polyvinyl chloride (PVC) soft and flexible.

Research centre TNO examined eight sex toys — including dildos, vibrators and butt plugs — for Greenpeace. It found seven of the products contained very high concentrations of Phthalates, varying from 24 to 51 percent.

"Hallmarks of these substances include that they don't biodegrade well in the environment and can be harmful even in small amounts," Greenpeace said in a statement.

One of the identified Phthalates, DEHP, was banned from children's toys by the European Union last year because it allegedly has a damaging effect on young children.

Greenpeace's Bart van Opzeeland, in charge of the campaign against toxic materials, said he was shocked that toys, meant for internal use, contained so much Phthalates. "I cannot remember over the last five years such high concentrations being found in research."

He called for tougher EU regulation to force producers to switch to non-toxic alternatives.

Three million of the 16.5 million people in the Netherlands own sex toys, and 85 percent are not opposed to the idea of buying one. Over one million sex toys are bought in the Netherlands every year, costing a total EUR 220 million, according to the 2005 Global Sex Survey by condom maker Durex.

Greenpeace said lovers of products such as the 'Spectra Gel Anal Plug', 'Crystal Jelly Double Dong' and the 'Cyber Pussy' need not worry their favourite sex toys will disappear from the shelves. "Manufacturers have excellent alternatives available to them," Van Opzeeland said.

Phthalates Information Centre Europe, which was set up by the industry, says that environmental groups are wrong and the chemicals are safe.

[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2006]

Subject: Dutch news

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