Have you ever wondered where your adult toy comes from? We did and we didn’t like what we found.
As consumers we expect companies to label everything these days. From calorie counts to healthy heart ticks, from chemical additives to whether or not the product has been tested on animals. We want to make informed healthy choices and rely heavily on manufacturers to provide product information so we can.
Unfortunately the adult toy industry is not governed by similar labeling regulations and any variety of plastic mixes and compounds can be used in the manufacture of them, even toxic ones.
Part of the problem is for a long time adult toy products have been classed as ‘novelties’ only. Even though there is no denying their intended use, the ‘novelty’ label has only required that manufacturers comply with basic safety standards for novelty products, such as “no sharp edges”. Worse still some companies have taken to labeling products ‘non-toxic’ when tests have shown the materials used have any number of suspect chemicals in them.
Currently the biggest toxic culprit concerning adult toy products is a chemical called phthalate which is used in the manufacture of PVC toy products such as the “jelly” material the majority of adult toys are currently made of.
Used in a variety of manufacturing processes and industries, phthalates work as ‘plastersiser’ making base materials more pliable. Because the phthalate additive breaks down rather than mixes with the base materials the end product is not stable and overtime the phthalate chemical leaches, or “gasses-off”.
Phthalate exposure has been linked to many health concerns from cancers to abnormalities in laboratory studies of the reproduction organs of newborn male rats whose mothers were exposed to high levels of phthalates during the pregnancy.
Longstanding concerns about phthalate use has led to the banning of phthalates in the manufacture of children’s toys and pet chew toys, as well, other industries such as medical plastics, food packaging plastics, clothing and cosmetics manufacturers are voluntarily opting to process PVC materials without the need for the phthalate additives or limiting the amount of phthalates required.
Its great to see that some major manufacturers in the adult toy industry are also now making the interim commitment to clearly label their ranges to identify the ‘phthalate free’ products so consumers can make an informed decision, and have advised plans to make their entire range phthalate free. Some manufacturers have already taken this step – you will see their ranges in our catalogues.
How can you tell if you have a phthalate added product? The best answer is “does it smell like plastic?” If it does, you can almost guarantee phthalates have being used in the manufacture of it. The “plastic” smell is the product leaching (or “gassing-off”) and sometimes it will have an oily feel but that strong smell of plastic when you first open the packaging is a dead giveaway.
What alternatives are there? Choose products made from hard plastics, glass, Lucite, hypo-allergenic silicones and thermal plastics such as elastomer.
While there is no definitive study that answers the phthalates concerns once and for all, we at BuzzClub think it is too great a risk to take with such personal product lines and therefore we only stock personal products that we have been advised are phthalate free.