Sex toys research:
“Microplastic spreads poison in bedrooms!”
Vita gazette – A recent study analysed the presence of microplastics in sex toys. According to alarming results, sex toys release mini nano and microplastic particles that are harmful to the human body.
Microplastics also found a way into bedrooms. Experts from Duke University and Appalachian State University recently investigated the role of sex toys in microplastic exposure. They found that some of them can potentially expose users to concerning amounts of chemicals.
For the research, which was published in Microplastics and Nanoplastics, experts conducted a physical and chemical analysis of four familiar sex toys: a dual vibrator (deluxe rotating wall bangers rabbit vibrator), anal beads (Cal exotics X-10 Beads Blue), an anal toy (stubby nubby G-vibe pink) and an external vibrator (Luna rechargeable personal massager), which claims to be made from “medical grade silicone.” Once broken down, researchers found that phthalates — chemicals used to make plastics more durable and are known endocrine disruptors — were present in all tested sex toys at levels “exceeding hazard warnings.”
“A majority of American adults report having used sex toys, which, by design, interact with intimate and permeable body parts yet have not been subject to sufficient risk assessment or management,” the researchers wrote, adding that the presence of phthalates in the products they analysed exceeds the exposure limit for the same chemicals in the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) regulations for children’s toys.
Talk of problematic microplastics is prevalent, and for good reason — research has linked chronic exposures to chemicals from microplastics with health issues related to the endocrine and reproductive systems.
Although microplastics are tiny, measuring less than 5 millimetres, they are everywhere and nearly impossible to avoid. Some studies have suggested that humans consume as many as 100,000 microplastic particles per year from food. Still, they can be found in other everyday items, like beauty, cleaning products, and the ocean.
All sex toys analysed for the study released microplastics when broken down. However, anal toys were found to remove the most and external vibrators made from medical-grade silicone the least.
Phthalates, or phthalate esters, are phthalic acid esters often added to plastics to increase flexibility. They are used to convert polyvinylchloride, which is a hard plastic, into flexible plastic. When added to plastics, they allow long polyvinyl molecules to slide over each other. These are used, for example, in cables, films, floor coverings, hoses, wallpapers, and sports and leisure goods.
The sale of microplastics is slowly being banned in the EU. While glitter, among other things, has already been completely banned, other products will follow in the next few years. The ban will also apply to products to which microplastics have been added if they are released during use.
It is not yet clear whether a future sales ban will be imposed on sex toys that have been found to increase microplastic wear.