Swedish Officials Investigate Phthalate Levels in Sex Toys

STOCKHOLM — A group of local Swedish municipalities have begun investigating the potentially hazardous levels of phthalates found in sex toys.

Phthalates, which are used to increase a material’s flexibility and can be found in a wide array of products, have been linked with hormonal imbalances, sperm reduction and even cancer in humans.

The U.S. banned the use of six types of phthalates in children’s toys because of their potential harm, but has imposed no such restrictions on sex toy production.  

"What we know about these chemicals is that they have strong reproduction inhibiting effects, but it is not known how people are affected by using sex toys that contain the chemicals," Anna Löfström, environmental inspector with Malmo city, told the TT news agency.

Sweden’s investigation into the matter suggests that, at least across the pond, a sea change in adult toy manufacturing regulations may be afoot.

According to Christian Lindh, a senior lecturer in environmental medicine at the University of Lund, no serious studies on the chemical reaction of sex toys have yet been conducted. He surmised an explanation: “I guess it is a sensitive subject.”