Lovers have intimate contact with Sex Toys. A German Consumer organisation has analysed poisonous chemical levels in Vibrators, Cock rings and Love Balls sold in sex shops and on line. Do you know what you put next to your mucous membranes?
This week I came across this important research publication in Germany. It is from a highly respected independent organisation set up in 1964 to investigate consumer goods and services by the German Government. You will find similar Health related Articles at my website ChrisDuggleby.com.
On 30th January 2019 the German Consumer Organisation ‘Stiftung Warentest‘ (Homepage) published the results of its analysis of the chemical composition of 18 sex toys that it had purchased from erotic shops or via online retailers. These included 12 vibrators, 3 love balls and 3 penis (or cock) rings.
The prices of the items purchased varied from 6.8 to 165 Euro. Of all the products tested only 3 were found to be free of toxic substances. Five of the ‘Toys’ tested (4 vibrators and 1 Love Ball) were judged seriously inadequate (‘mangelhaft’) due to quantities of the substances found. Typical substances found were
- Plasticiser diethylhexyl phthalate (DEHP) – which can affect fertility
- Poly cyclic aromatic hydrocarbons – which are possible/probable human carcinogens (linked to skin, lung, bladder, liver and stomach cancers in well established animal model studies)
- Phenol – suspected of causing genetic defects
- Nickel – potential allergen
Interestingly there was no significant correlation found between the poor test results and the price or smell of the products. Two of the most expensive vibrators were among the worst test results. Many products had a ‘plasticky’ smell when unwrapped but some of the smelly ones’ test results gave no cause for concern.
The items tested are marketed to the German public under the following names:
- Big Teaze Toys I rub my duckie Travel Size
- Doc Johnson The Realistic Cock Vibrating 6 Inch
- Fun Factory Ocean Mini Vibrator
- Mystim Elegant Eric
- NMC In-Style
- OV-Großhandel You2Toys Space Rider 3000
- Pipedream Fetish Fantasy Series Vibrating Hollow Strap-On
- Satisfyer Pro 2 Next Generation
- Sevencreations Bijou Sassy
- Svakom Siime Camera Vibrator
- We-Vibe Sync Couples Vibrator
- Womanizer W500 Pro
- Joydivison Joyballs Secret
- Lelo Luna Beads Noir
- OV-Großhandel You2Toys Smile Loveballs Sporty
- Durex Intense Vibrations
- Fifty Shades Freed Lost in each other
- OV-Großhandel You2Toys Get Hard 3 Penisringe
It is possible that these products are marketed under other names in your region therefore you may want to check the picture gallery which is on the Warentest website – the link to the article is here: ‘Sextoys im Test: Nur 3 von 18 Sexspielzeugen ganz ohne Schadstoffe’. Then click on ‘Getestete Produkte‘ to open the ‘Products Tested’ window or click on the ‘Bildergalerie‘ further down the page (picture gallery) for a more pictorial description of what Sex Toys are.
The Warentest Foundation justified carrying out this detailed evaluation of sex toys because it is estimated that several million are sold in Germany each year. I am certainly not aware of any other Sex Toy study carried out with this degree of thoroughness.
One of the problems in evaluating sex toys is that there are no established norms for levels of potentially toxic products in them. The foundation therefore relied on their own test experience of what would be an appropriate benchmark for maximum levels for the toxic substances or adopted appropriate norms used in other products like children’s toys. They were particularly concerned to get this right because unlike many other consumer product sex toys come into close contact with the body’s mucous membranes and areas with enhanced blood flow (especially during arousal). Therefore the potential for toxic substances to enter into the body may be increased.
If you want to see the specific test results for individual items (they are quite detailed) I suggest you check out the original report on the Warentest website using the link below (for 1.5 Euro you can download the full 6 page ‘Sextoys im Test‘ report as a PDF file).
I have translated this description from the original German and therefore am unable to accept any liability for its correctness or completeness. If you have any concerns relating to potential contaminants in Sex Toys please refer directly to the Warentest Foundation or your own regional consumer product testing organisation. If in doubt with regard to health or toxicity matters always seek professional guidance.
Here is the Warentest video about the testing. Although it is in German you will be able to see the products being analysed and some of the methods in the lab (Warning: Video includes graphic images of a penis being cut with a sharp object):
Please visit the ChrisDuggleby.com website again – I will regularly publish articles relating to health and lifestyle issues
Here is a detailed (translated by me so no liability for accuracy!) list of the chemicals tested in the Warentest Stiftung Sex Toy Analysis:
Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons
Short Chain Chlorinated Paraffins
Organic Tin Compounds
N-Nitrosamines and nitrosable substances
Alkyl Phenols (including Nonyl Phenol)
Alkyl Phenol Ethoxylate
Azo Synthetic Colourants
Monomers including Phenol
Other substances identified under Gas Chromatography and Mass Spectrometry