Greenpeace Netherlands has issued a statement warning sex toy lovers
not to shove the "Spectra Gel Anal Plug" or the "Crystal Jelly
Double Dong" where the sun don't shine, according to an eye-watering report
The reason behind the shock advisory is not the possible risk of ending up
in hospital with a dildo stuck firmly up your jacksie and having to endure the
humiliating laughter of medical staff who avail themselves of the opportunity
of grabbing a few X-rays for later dissemination on the internet, but rather
that sex toys apparently contain "extremely high concentrations of phthalate
plasticisers which allegedly pose a risk to human health and the environment".
Phthalates are oil-derived plasticisers commonly used to soften PVC.
Research centre TNO examined eight sex toys at Greenpeace's behest, "including
dildos, vibrators and butt plugs". It discovered that seven of the items
contained high levels of phthalates, including DEHP (di-2-ethylhexyl phthalate)
which was last year permanently banned from kids' toys in the EU because of
a possible health risk to young children.
Greenpeace's Bart van Opzeeland, head of the the organisation's campaign against
toxic materials, said: "I cannot remember over the last five years such
high concentrations being found in research."
A Greenpeace statement
added: "Remember, these are chemicals which do not easily biodegrade and
can be dangerous - even in small amounts."
The Phthalates Information Centre Europe, meanwhile, is having none of it.
Its website declares
(http://www.phthalates.com/index.asp?page=5): "Plasticised PVC has been
used for nearly 50 years without a single known case of it having caused any
ill-health and the environmental effects of phthalates are known to be minimal."
The website's section (http://www.phthalates.com/RAs)
on "EU Risk Assessments" of five commonly-used phthalates says that
diisononyl phthalate (DINP) and diisodecyl phthalate (DIDP) show "no risks
to human health or the environment for any current use".
Dibutyl phthalate (DBP), though, demonstrates "some potential risk to
plants in the vicinity of processing sites and possibly to workers through inhalation".
The risk assessments for butylbenzyl phthalate (BBP) and DEHP "remain
open as scientific data is still being considered".
Back in September 2004, the EU Competitiveness Council did indeed vote for
a permanent ban on DEHP, DBP and BBP for use in all PVC toys, extending a temporary
order imposed in 1999. Furthermore, it banned DINP, DIDP, and di-n-octyl phthalate
(DNOP) "from toys and child care items that children can put in the mouth".
Markos Kyprianou, European Commissioner for Health and Consumer Protection,
"Europe's citizens expect all products sold on the EU's internal market
to be safe, but this is particularly the case for toys and childcare products.
Toxic chemicals have no place in children's toys. Our action on phthalates shows
that when a risk is identified, the EU can act effectively to protect the health
of its children."
The ban came into full force in January 2006, although the aforementioned EU
Risk Assessment for DINP and DIDP (published April 2006) adds weight to industry
suspicions that environmental pressure groups have for political reasons exaggerated
the risks posed by phthalates.
As the Phthalates Information Centre Europe said
(http://www.phthalates.com/pressrelease/details/index.asp?id=20) back in
April: "Following the recent adoption of EU legislation with regard to
the marketing and use of DINP and DIDP in toys and childcare articles, the risk
assessment conclusions published today in the Official Journal clearly state
that there is no need for any further measures to regulate the use of DINP and
For the record, rodents exposed to high levels of phthalates have reportedly
suffered damage to the liver, kidneys, lungs and developing testes. Exponents
of phthalate use say the test levels were much higher than would occur as a
result of everyday exposure to PVC.
The green lobby says even low levels pose a health risk. And so it
goes round and round...We leave it to you to decide whether the undoubted delights
of the PVC "Cyber Pussy" are outweighed by the potential risks.
Read from Looking Glass News