Earlier this year public discussion about so called "toxic sex toys" (meaning sex toys containing phthalates) reached a critical mass, and as a result a few sex toy companies actually responded. Either out of genuine concern for customers, or a new understanding of optics, one of the biggest US companies, California Exotic Novelties, changed their product packaging to indicate which products were phthalate free. Before you rush out to nominate the company for a safety award keep in mind that the industry continues to be largely unregulated and there is no way of knowing if these products are 100% phthalate free without testing them ourselves (we also don't know what else might be in those sex toys). Nonetheless, this move represented the most significant response from a sex toy company to a public complaint in the history of sex toy manufacturing.
It also put a sex toy maker in front of medical device manufacturers in terms of customer safety, which is a sentence I never imagined writing.
This past week prominent health organizations, led by the non-profit organization Health Care Without Harm called on the US Food and Drug Administration to label medical devices containing the toxic chemical di-2-ethylhexyl phthalate (DEHP). The phthalate leaches out of vinyl plastic medical devices into patients, posing risks to developing reproductive systems – including reduced fertility – of boys. It's also found in a variety of sex toys.
In a letter which accompanied the legal petition to FDA, Dr. Ted Schettler, science director for the Science and Environmental Health Network, wrote:
“Despite FDA warnings about the health risks of DEHP-containing medical devices, these products are still being used in many hospitals to treat at-risk patients, even though safer alternatives are available for most. Labeling of products containing DEHP is crucial to enable health care facilities to heed safety directives.”
I’m sure there is a perfectly good (read: financial) reason that medical device manufacturers aren’t willing to label their products as either containing phthalates or being phthalate free. But you’ve got to figure that if the company that makes “Fujiko’s ‘Secret Passages’” is willing to label their phthalate free products, anyone should be.
Read more – Health Care Without Harm: Health Groups Call on FDA to Require Labeling of Medical Devices for Vinyl Chemical