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Let’s Talk Phthalates – Part One

Phthalates.  What a word.  It looks wierd, scary, spelled funny and is hard to pronounce.  No wonder people hate/fear it.  Well, that and all of the media/groups telling you that phthalates are bad, will cause cancer and make you overdraw your bank account.

What are phthalates?  Phthalates are a class of chemical compounds that are used most often to soften plastics, to make them more malleable.  They are colorless, odorless and used in just about everything you can imagine.  From your shoes to your picnicware to your soft sex toys.

Why does the industry use them?  They are inexpensive, improve efficiency and output of materials.  And given today’s prices I think we can agree that those are certainly items for the plus column.

Can they be replaced?  Certainly!  But the costs will rise at the plant and in the store.  By a significant margin too!

How many types are there?  A lot, but less than 100 are typically used. 

Why aren’t phthalates banned?  Some are!  For example, Proposition 65 in the State of California, USA bans the use of DEHP, DBP, DnHP and DIDP.  In Europe there is also a ban in place despite the many studies that show specific phthalates are quite safe.

Which phthalates?  DINP is the most popular for use in toys (for children and adults!) and has a ten year study done in Europe showing no harmful effects at all to human health or the environment.  Amazing!  It has been given a clean bill of health by the EU, the USA and I believe Japan.

So why the ban?  Sadly, it appears to be mostly political.  Have you ever had a co-worker, significant other or friend who whines and complains morning, noon and night?  And even though what they want is insignificant, you give in to their requests rather than keep listening to them?  Yep.  It’s just like that.  Only more dangerous.  These folks never go away.  They taste the power of making you bend to their will and suddenly they come up with more demands.  Some of these groups are trying to regulate every part of your life without giving you the common respect to review the situation.  While we are at it, let’s talk about “chemicals.”

What is a chemical?  Everything.  Water is a chemical.  Oxygen is a chemical.  Petroleum Oil is a chemical. Carrots are made of 100% chemicals.  People are made of chemicals.  You see there are these things called elements.  Elements are the building blocks and are made from atoms.  Everything in our known universe is made up of combinations of these elements which are called molecules.  These molecules make up everything.  As any schoolchild of a certain age can tell you, water is H2O, two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom.  Carrots are a bit more complicated.  And don’t get me started on coffeee!  That has over two hundred chemical constituents.

So, phthalates.  Friend or Foe?  I learn towards Friend.  It’s use in adult toys helps make us happy and it’s use in cosmetics (perfume and nail polish) help make us look good.  The safety record is nothing short of amazing.  And no, there is no proof that phthalates are endocrine disrupters.

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. desireeduffie
    Aug 18, 2008 @ 12:45:16

    Fear of phthalates reminds me of the frenzy about Dihydrogen Monoxide. It is another substance that can be deadly if taken in large doses.

    It recently caused the death of a San Franciscan woman who consumed it during a highly publicized radio contest.

    The chemical is found in numerous food and beverages, yet there is no warning label about it. This clip by Penn and Teller will help shed light on a recent poll that was conducted to calculate consumer’s perception of Dihydrogen Monoxide. Chek it out!

    http://www.american.com/archive/2007/august-0807/bad-chemistry-from-california-regulators

    Reply

  2. bedroomjoys
    Oct 08, 2008 @ 10:46:16

    We at BedroomJoys.com applaud Topco’s commitment to phthalates free adult toys. We proudly offer full line of Topco Sales sex toys at http://www.bedroomjoys.com

    Reply

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