A number of local municipalities in Sweden have begun looking into whether sex toys contain high levels of reproductive reducing substances. The investigation was prompted after it emerged that sex toys, such as vibrators and dildos, contain phthalates, a substance that manufacturers of plastic objects use to improve their flexibility, but research has also shown that they can alter a person’s hormonal balance.
It is already illegal to use phthalates when manufacturing children’s toys because of potential consequences resulting from, for example, a child putting a toy in their mouth. However, there has never been such an investigation in Sweden in relation to the sex toy industry and how adults could be affected.
Environmental inspector Anna Lofstrom said they already know such chemicals have strong reproduction inhibiting implications, but it is not yet known how much people can be affected when using sex toys containing the substances.
The University of Lund’s senior environmental medicine lecturer Christian Lindh said that previous studies on how substances found in sex toys can affect a person’s hormonal balance are unheard of, adding that it is a sensitive subject.