Sex toys can cause diabetes, study claims
A new study found that sex toys made of materials like plastic, rubber and latex can all result in microplastics in the bloodstream, as the tiny particles enter your body – which can contribute to serious health problems in the long run, like diabetes.
According to Mirror UK, these microplastic particles can cause health issues like diabetes, disrupt immune responses, and damage various bodily systems. Metabolic disorders are most commonly associated with plastic particles.
In a new study, scientists from Duke University and Appalachian State University found that sex toys contain phthalates, which can affect hormone levels. They discovered these chemicals are present in concentrations exceeding US consumer warnings.
The team examined four types of sex toys: anal toys, beads, dual vibrators, and external vibrators. The anal toy released the most particles, followed by beads, dual vibrators and external vibrators.
Dr Joana Sipe, the lead author of the study, said: “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 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.”
In the journal Risk Analysis, Dr Sipe and her team highlighted safety issues around sex toys that were once taboo because of the nature of these items.
The paper explains that “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 also noted that legal experts have criticised the lack of regulatory action by the US government to address these risks. These experts have urged consumer action groups and even Congress to demand protective measures.
The findings will be discussed at the 2023 Society for Risk Analysis Annual Conference in Washington DC next month. This comes shortly after world leaders were accused of showing ‘zero ambition’ to protect human health at the Global Plastics Treaty talks in Kenya.
Dr John Peterson Myers, founder of Environmental Health Sciences and a member of the Plastic Health Council, said: “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.”
“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?” asked the doctor.