Phthalates (pronounced "thall-eights") are a family of chemicals that are used to soften plastic in things like shower curtains. They are also used as solvents and can be found in many uses in our daily lives.
Jelly (PVC) sex toys contain phthalates. It's the phthalates that make jelly toys soft & squishy. Jelly toys often have an overpowering chemical smell, especially when just removed from their packaging.
FDA, the US health regulating body, says that phthalates are a 'probable human carcinogen,' ie could cause cancer.
Studies suggest that phthalates could cause fertility problems in rats.
Other studies seem to contradict the above.
We don't stock any sex toys with phthalates
But we also want you to be safe with toys you might buy from other companies...
How to identify a sex toy with Phthalates
Have you ever unwrapped a sex toy and been overwhelmed by its strong chemical smell? This is the toy off-gassing large amounts of phthalates.
There are different grades of phthalates, and differing amounts can be used, from very little...to lots. This is why food storage containers don't smell, whilst cheap trainers can stink before you've even put your feet into them!
The basic rule to follow is:
The more toxic a jelly product smells, the more phthalates it has.
No studies have been done on sex toys, and of course, you tend to have a more intimate relationship with a sex toy than a shower curtain or food container.
Until there's research on whether jelly sex toys pose a risk, it's impossible to give conclusive answers. We think it's wise to have a cautious relationship with chemicals. This is why, if you do own any PVC jelly sex toys, we recommend covering them with a condom, just to be extra safe.