Plastic and silicone sex toys often contain chemicals and other pollutants that could affect fertility or cause cancer, according to Stiftung Warentest.
The German consumer organization tested vibrators, love balls and other adult paraphernalia costing between €6.80 (CHF7.76) to €165 (CHF188.40)
Social acceptance of sexual experimentation and Internet sales prompted Stiftung Warentest to launch their study. Germans buy a few millions sex toys annually, the group said.
Five out of 18 contained potentially harmful materials, according to the group’s study. Only three out of 18 contained no harmful substances.
The news was not all bad, however. “There were also very good and good sextoys in the test that women and men can try without hesitation,” wrote the organization in a press release.
The group’s tests found DEHP, a softener that which impact fertility, phenol, a chemical that allegedly causes genetic defects, and the mineral nickel, which can trigger allergies, including a rash. Some toys also contained polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. Some of those chemicals are carcinogenic.
Project Manager Sara Wagner-Leifhelm said the problem was that sex toys often contact sensitive surfaces.
“These tissues are usually well supplied with blood and can be sensitive,” he said said. “Pollutants are therefore should not be in sex toys.
To preserve public health and limit the environmental impact of sex toys, Wagner-Leifhelm suggested regulators consider limits on certain ingredients in the products.