The Danish environment minister has declared that sex toys are potentially hazardous, and that steps should be taken to reduce the level of dangerous chemicals in the products.
Karen Ellemann’s proposal for safer sex toys follows reports from the National Board of Health that sex toys contain hormone disrupting phthalates. These chemicals have been linked to advanced puberty in teenage girls, as well as genital deformation and reduced fertility in young males.
While the National Board of Health has previously declared that the ”normal use” of sex toys poses no health risk, Elleman claims the recent discoveries have focused more on phthalates and the threat they pose to hormonal balance.
In a ministerial response to Social Democratic Consumer Spokesman Benny Engelbrecht, Ms Ellemann wrote, “So the Environmental Protection Agency will be including phthalates in sex toys in the documentation that will form the basis of a proposal for the EU regulation of phthalates in a list of products”.
No evidence has yet been found to indicate that phthalates themselves are dangerous, and their presence can be found not just in sex toys, but in a range of products including paint, hair spray, perfume, raincoats and medical instruments.
The amount of consumer advice and environmental awareness campaigns stemming from this issue is a reflection of how mainstream the sex toy industry has become. 2009 even saw the release of the ‘Earth Angel’ – the world’s first fully recyclable, eco-friendly vibrator. The Earth Angel can be connected to a USB port or powered by a mechanical hand-crank.