Dangerous chemicals in sex toys?

Managers at a handful of Edmonton stores that sell plastic adult sex toys say they had already removed items containing a controversial chemical, even before a Toronto MP called on the federal health minister to regulate the industry over health concerns.

EDMONTON — Managers at a handful of Edmonton stores that sell plastic adult sex toys say they had already removed items containing a controversial chemical, even before a Toronto MP called on the federal health minister to regulate the industry over health concerns.

Liberal MP, Carolyn Bennett, has sent a letter to Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq, outlining her concerns about toys made with bisphenol A and phthalates which are used to make plastic toys soft and flexible.

Dozens of studies have shown the chemicals cause hormonal complications at a certain level of exposure.

Sandy Keeler, owner of Alluring Intimates, heard similar health concerns last year.

She immediately surveyed her inventory of sex toys and found that approximately 15 per cent of them contained such chemicals, which were mostly found in toys made out of a jelly-like substance.

Keeler said she wasted no time returning the products to the distributor.

Manufacturers of about 95 per cent of the toys she now receives put labels on the packaging that say the items are made without phthalates, but it still hasn’t satisfied all her customers’ concerns.

“More and more people are getting into these toys,” said Keller. “You want to make sure it’s as healthy for you as it possibly can be.”

Federal regulations already prevent bisphenol A from being used in baby bottles and phthalates can’t be used in toys that go into children’s mouths, but so far there aren’t any rules preventing their use in sex toys.

Edith Johnson, assistant manager at Edmonton’s Hush Adult Megastore, said the health and cleanliness of the store’s toys is always a top priority.

Any product that would put customers at risk of health complications should have a hard time making its way onto store shelves, she said. Johnson is in favour of taking steps to regular the adult sex toy industry.

“We want to make sure the health of the customer comes first,” she said.

Staff at other sex toy stores in Edmonton say their shops have also opted to carry phthalate-free toys, but they declined to be interviewed about the issue.

Bennett wrote the letter after meeting with the owners of a Toronto sex shop that specializes in eco-friendly sex toys who told her of their concerns with the kind of plastics used in most of the devices.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Many rural seniors are having to travel a long way to get vaccinated against COVID-19. Stettler residents are being told to go to Red Deer, Drumheller or Camrose. (Black Press file photo).
Many rural central Alberta seniors have to travel far to get vaccines

Stettler residents are being directed to Red Deer, Drumheller or Camrose clinics

Hölmetrics CEO and co-founder Chad Verity said the Red Deer area could become a tech hub. (By SUSAN ZIELINSKI/Advocate staff)
Red Deer-area tech company attracts international attention

Focusing on economic diversity in Red Deer region

The Red Deer Public Library downtown branch will likely not reopen as quickly as other branches because work needs to be completed on its HVAC system replacement. (File photo by ADVOCATE staff)
Preparation work begins on reopening Red Deer’s libraries

CEO hopes to know more about reopening dates later this week

(Photo from Highway 11 Functional Planning Study)
Public input wanted for Highway 11 improvement plan

Round 2 of public online engagement continues until March 10

Workers were busy getting a tall crane in place Thursday morning for the construction of the new courthouse in downtown Red Deer. The facility will include modern technology and replace the existing courthouse upon completion expected in spring 2023. Photo by Paul Cowley/Advocate staff
Red Deer building permits down slightly in February

The Real Canadian Superstore in Red Deer will be getting a facelift.… Continue reading

Red Deer dogs Bunsen and Beaker helped save a missing pet recently. The two dogs have more than 80,000 followers on Twitter. (Contributed photo)
WATCH: Red Deer science dogs help save lost pet

Red Deer science-communicating dogs Bunsen and Beaker helped rescue a missing pet… Continue reading

A locally-produced video project aims to preserve Canada’s railway history

‘Railways have been an integral part of Canadian history since 1836’

Ryan Jake Applegarth of Ponoka, 28, is scheduled to appear at Ponoka Provincial Court on March 12, 2021. (File photo)
Discussions about justice continue as Ponoka murder victim’s case proceeds

Reaction to comments Ponoka Staff Sgt. Chris Smiley made to town council last month

Dr. Stanley Read
Hometown Bashaw doctor recognized with alumni award for AIDS work

Dr. Stanley Read, born and raised in Bashaw, is considered a global health leader

A nurse assistant prepares a dose of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine for COVID-19 during a priority vaccination program for health workers at a community medical center in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Andre Penner
COVID-19 cases start to climb again as variants spread, in step with dire forecasts

OTTAWA — Canada’s chief public health officer says new COVID-19 cases are… Continue reading

Shipping containers are seen at the Fairview Cove Container Terminal in Halifax on Friday, Aug. 25, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan
Statistics Canada to release final economic figures for 2020, January GDP estimate

OTTAWA — Statistics Canada is expected to say today precisely how bad… Continue reading

FILE - In this Jan. 31, 2020, file photo, former NBA player Shaquille O’ Neal is interviewed on the red carpet for Shaq’s Fun House in Miami. O’Neal is set to perform in his first competitive match when he teams in All Elite Wrestling with Jade Cargill in a mixed tag to take on Cody Rhodes and Red Velvet at Daily’s Place on an episode of “Dynamite,” Wednesday, March 3, 2021. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky, File)
Shaq Attack: O’Neal ready to rumble in tag match for AEW

O’Neal’s first competitive match with All Elite Wrestling

Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee President Seiko Hashimoto, center, speaks during a Tokyo 2020 executive board meeting in Tokyo, Tuesday, March 2, 2021. (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara, Pool)
Tokyo Olympics add 12 women to executive board to reach 42 per cent

Board will now have 19 women among its 45 members

The Stratford Festival’s Festival Theatre is shown in Stratford, Ont., on May 28, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Geoff Robins
Stratford Festival plans next stages with two outdoor summer venues

Ontario festival productions set for between late June and the end of September

Most Read