A German consumer organisation tested 18 Sensual Pleasure Toys for harmful chemicals. Such devices come into intimate contact with our bodies, especially the mucous membranes. Only 3 got the all clear !
At the end of January 2019 ‘Stiftung Warentest‘ a respected German consumer organisation (Homepage) published its chemical analysis of 18 intimate sensual pleasure toys. They had been bought at adult leisure shops or via online retailers.
The prices of the items (including vibrators and love balls) varied from 6.8 to 165 Euro. Only 3 were declared free of toxic chemicals. Five were considered seriously inadequate (‘mangelhaft’) because of the substances found. Typical chemicals 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
The results did not depend on the price or the smell of the product. Some of the most expensive devices had higher levels of chemicals. Most items smelled ‘plasticky’ when unpacked – including those declared all clear. I have included the names of all the items tested in a PDF file which you can download by clicking here (it opens a new window then click on the link):
You can see photos of the items tested at the picture gallery which is on the Warentest website – the link to their 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 their description of the kind of toys tested.
The Warentest Foundation believe this is the first detailed evaluation of chemicals in sex toys. They estimate several million are sold in Germany each year.
They were keen to do this testing because unlike many other consumer products these ‘toys’ come into intimate contact with your mucous membranes and areas experiencing enhanced blood flow. Therefore the potential for toxic substances to enter into the body may be increased.
To see specific test results for individual items (they are quite detailed) 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).
This report is based on a personal translation of the original German report so I can not accept any liability for its correctness or completeness. If you have any specific questions please refer directly to the Warentest Foundation. 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 used by the lab :
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If you would like to see a detailed list of the chemicals tested by the German consumer organisation I have put them into the following PDF file (it opens a new window then click on the link):