So what does that mean, and why should you care?
Well beyond being hard to pronounce, pronounced THA-lates, phthalates are chemicals used in plastics to make them more flexible and smooth.
And unfortunately, most sex toys contain them for exactly those reasons. According to analysis by the Canadian Cancer Society, some phthalates, as they can leach into the body, can cause fertility problems and liver abnormalities. There is also speculation that they can lead to birth defects in fetuses of already pregnant women. Because of these findings and the high toxicity, the FDA has banned it from childrenâ€™s toys and pet toys.
Although leaching can be effectively reduced and potentially avoided with the use of a condom over your toys, the safest strategy is to buy only toys that are marked phthalate free before taking into your bed.
One quick way to distinguish phthalates is by their strong chemical smell. So give your toys a sniff, and if you smell something like a new shower curtain, stay away!