Posted on Nov 24, 2023, 8 p.m.
Apparently bringing sex toys into the bed could pose a health risk, adding to the amount of dangerous plastic particles in our bodies, according to a study published in Microplastics and Nanoplastics. These microplastic particles add up with others from numerous sources that we ingest or absorb into our bloodstream and can cause metabolic disorders such as diabetes.
Along with causing metabolic disorders microplastic particle accumulation can also disrupt our immune responses and cause damage to the nervous system, as well as our reproductive and development systems. Scientists have identified sex toys as a new source of phthalate contamination to go along with air pollution and contact with other plastics.
Researchers from Duke University and Appalachian State University warn of the possible dangers after finding that sex toys also contain phthalates that can affect hormone levels, and they are present in concentrations that exceed American consumer warnings.
They reached this conclusion after examining four types of sex toys that are currently available on the market: external vibrators, dual vibrators, anal toys, and beads. According to the researchers, anal toys were found to release the most particles, this was followed by beads, dual vibrators, and external vibrators in order for the most to least micro and nano plastic release.
“We assert that since the measured presence of phthalates in our small sample size exceeds the exposure limit for the same chemicals in the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) regulations in children’s toys, investigations into whether or not the risk scenarios are also similar in sex toys are prudent for public health protection,” said lead author Dr. Joana Sipe.
Microplastics are practically everywhere, even in our homes, unfortunately, it is almost impossible to avoid them. Plastic food packaging releases microplastics, plastic chopping boards do too, and so does cooking with Teflon-coated cookware, 90% of all cosmetic products contain microplastics, installing new carpet could double the amount of these fibers, and even your clothing is full of microplastics. Some studies suggest that overall we either consume or inhale a credit card’s weight in microplastics every week.
“Popular culture articles, sex toy critics, and sex shops have raised awareness of chemical hazards, and healthcare professionals have called for educating consumers about preventable physical injuries associated with poorly designed sex toys," the authors wrote in the journal Risk Analysis. “Legal scholars have brought attention to the absence of regulatory action by the US federal government to address these risks and have called upon consumer action groups – and even the US Congress – to step in and demand protective action, but have so far gained little traction.”
“What began as an almost invisible trickle near the beginning of the 20th Century has now become a monstrous tsunami. Plastic and plastic chemicals have spread like a scourge to every part of our planet, even inside us at levels known to be hazardous. Yet industry projections based on ‘business-as-usual’ anticipate the volume of plastics created will double by the mid-century,” said Dr John Peterson Myers, founder of Environmental Health Sciences and a member of the Plastic Health Council. “We must choose. Will we smother the Earth and ourselves with toxic plastics? Or do we have the courage and foresight to stop the onslaught?”
As with anything you read on the internet, this article should not be construed as medical advice; please talk to your doctor or primary care provider before changing your wellness routine. This article is not intended to provide a medical diagnosis, recommendation, treatment, or endorsement.
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