• Germany edition
 
Greens call for action on 'toxic' dildos
Photo: DPA

Greens call for action on 'toxic' dildos

Published: 01 Jul 2011 16:56 GMT+02:00
Updated: 01 Jul 2011 16:56 GMT+02:00

Ten Greens Bundestag members recently submitted an inquiry to the government, titled, “Sexual health as a consumer protection issue.”

“Many dildos, and other sex toys like vibrators and anal plugs, contain high levels of phthalates, other carcinogenic substances and toxic materials.”

According to the website of news magazine Der Spiegel, the government has now answered, though using more prudish terminology than that used by their racier Bundestag colleagues in the Greens.

Phthalates are a class of plasticisers – substances that are added to plastic to increase its flexibility and durability.

Some of these substances were suspected of causing disturbances to hormone balances and to infertility, diabetes and obesity, the Greens MPs said in their written inquiry. The hormonal balances of unborn children could also be disturbed. Absorption through mucus membranes was a danger.

The Greens see these dangers as a broad social issue, given the widespread use of sex toys. Certain children’s toys would not be approved for sale if they contained even small amounts of such plasticisers, yet a 2006 study had found that some sex toys contained up to 58 percent plasticisers, the MPs said.

This 2006 test by consumer magazine Ökotest found that “nearly half of all vibrators investigated were bristling with toxic substances and therefore failed to reach the lowest test grade of inadequate.”

The Greens demanded a response from the government as to what limits would be considered acceptable and what would require a product to be banned.

The government has now responded with a six-page answer full of dense legal and consumer jargon – and some considerably more delicate language, according to Der Spiegel.

Where the Greens referred in their inquiry to “sex toys,” the parliamentary State Secretary for Consumer Protection, Gerd Müller, replied with reference to “erotic items.” The terms dildo, vibrator and, most definitely anal plug, were not contained in the answer.

The conclusion, in short, was that the government sees no need for action.

The Local

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

18:12 July 1, 2011 by Englishted
If the greens used anal plugs nobody would ear them as they talk through their

arses most of the time as this article proves.

For our American friends arse= ass.
20:00 July 1, 2011 by StoutViking
As the Greens are the largest consumers of dildos and buttplugs, I can see why they'd make it such an urgent matter on their agenda.
20:13 July 1, 2011 by Landmine
Is this what this party worries about? Unbelievable give the world as it is this day an age.
23:59 July 1, 2011 by krautrock
Wich member of the Government investigated on the topic? And how?
00:15 July 2, 2011 by slawek
The obvious practical solution is to use condoms of course, which is a good idea anyway. At least it should be forbidden to sell products containing plasticisers as hygienic articles, with the consequence that you can send them back. This would prove more effective for any kind of article rather than a specific ban on sex toys.
01:48 July 2, 2011 by iseedaftpeople
now that's what I call being anal about dildoes and butt plugs...

(sorry, feeble lame late-night attempt at humor)

you know, in a way, I can buy it more when the Catholic Church says condoms and sex toys are sin and devil's work... at least there's a clear-cut ethos behind that, however inane and anachronistic... but these Green Party goofballs are just silly. OK so it's probably not conducive to your good health to put things in your anal or vaginal cavity that contain all these substances... but I would imagine you would actually have to cut up and eat one of those little pleasure bringers to suffer any kind of toxic effects. And in lieu of a good old butt-plug, those Green Party jackasses can just shove all their rhethoric up their...ahem... behinds...
03:54 July 2, 2011 by JBlooze
Wow I can't believe that everyone here somehow thinks it's ok for products that people use can be sold when they are full of toxins. As for iseedaftpeople, if they couldn't release toxins the way they were, why do they not allow it for kids toys at anywhere near these levels? Why is it bad for someone in the government to be bringing this to people's attention? This IS a health problem and if it can affect the hormone balances in women and their children I guess you guys all think that's ok too. Unbelievable that you would take this as a reason to bash a political party that you clearly don't agree with. Should no-one know about it, or do anything about it? Thousands of people buy and use these products and I know they aren't all Greens and there's more than a few Brits plugging their arses Englishted. They should be able to do so with the assumption that because it is allowed to be sold, it should be safe. This IS a question of government regulation and to just trash the concept that someone is paying attention to the problem because your sphincters are way too tight for even the smallest butt plug is stupid and ignorant. There's lots of room to pay attention to more than one problem at a time and just by bringing attention to it they are probably informing lots of people to be more aware of potential health problems. But we wouldn't want that would we? Because it's the Greens. Grow up.
08:25 July 2, 2011 by The-ex-pat
Well in the words of, General Sir Anthony Cecil Hogmanay Melchett ,...... "Well bugger me with a fish fork"....a metal one of course....
13:19 July 2, 2011 by ron1amr
Every product should be regulated with information about the item. David Suzuki said if the Government took care of environmental issues anywhere in the world, Greens would be non existent. But this is not the case and Greens are gaining popularity world wide with more people awareness on any issue. And we need to do this to educate and raise concerns on anything that could be detrimental to our health or environment.
13:31 July 2, 2011 by Gretl
I agree with Slawek - The problem is nobody in Germany is getting laid. Use a condom and get to know someone. Toys are for loners or people who can't get there without assistance.
15:33 July 2, 2011 by Englishted
@JBlooze

"there's more than a few Brits plugging their arses "

Then I bow (not literally) experience you must have looked into it more than I have or will.
13:28 July 3, 2011 by StoutViking
Doesn't anyone get the point in this? In some countries people are worried about toxic plastics in food containers, baby bottles and pacifiers. In Germany, where the population doesn't even replace itself, a political party stands out to cry about toxins in SEX TOYS! It's not only ridiculous and profound, but it shows their true aim: to abolish sex as a means of reproduction and/or bonding between two people (regardless the sex), but to turn it into a selfish act of self-gratification, and making it the center of one's existance.

Come on, we're talking about people who think Germans have "a Nazi gene and shouldn't have kids". Makes sense to why they advocate inanimate objects as sex partners...
12:24 July 4, 2011 by ValP
"This 2006 test by consumer magazine íkotest found that ..."

.... can't help imagining the specifics of the testing procedure.....
13:46 July 4, 2011 by n230099
If it's plastic it's not safe. Stick with stainless steel or glass especially for objects where food is involved. There are no "safe' plastics for food. But for the purposes here...who knows.
10:54 August 20, 2012 by myroona
There are plenty of alternatives to cheap plastic and latex dildos. Medical-grade silicone dildos, hard plastic dildos, steel dildos, glass dildos and ceramic dildos are all phthalate free, and unlike plastic and latex dildos they are non-porous and can be sterilized. None of these are hard to find, and if you go to any sex shop or website, they should be able to tell youbuy dildoswhich dildos are phthalate free. Your biggest tip off, though, is that strong plastic smell that cheap dildos have; phthalate-free dildos should be odorless.
Today's headlines
UN climate talks shuffle to a close in Bonn
Photo: DPA

UN climate talks shuffle to a close in Bonn

Concern was high at a perceived lack of urgency as UN climate negotiations shuffled towards a close in Bonn on Saturday with just 14 months left to finalise a new, global pact. READ  

Berlin slams Italy Nazi claims court ruling
Italy's National Partisans' Association welcomed the court decision. Photo: DPA

Berlin slams Italy Nazi claims court ruling

Italy's constitutional court has ruled that victims of Nazi-era war crimes can sue Germany in Italian courts, rejecting a UN ruling and provoking a strong reaction from Berlin on Friday. READ  

Expats reveal another side of Berlin Wall
Photo: Paul Sullivan

Expats reveal another side of Berlin Wall

Two expats who walked the Mauerweg - the 160-kilometre trail that runs the length of the former Berlin Wall - have written a book about forgotten aspects of its past and present. READ  

Karstadt closes six stores to stay afloat
Photo: DPA

Karstadt closes six stores to stay afloat

Germany's biggest department store chain Karstadt will close at least six stores, putting around 2,000 jobs at risk, in a drastic bid by its new boss to return it to profit. READ  

Quiz
How well do you know Germany?
Photos: DPA/Shutterstock

How well do you know Germany?

Do you know your Saxony facts from your Saxony-Anhalt ones? Test your knowledge of Germany's federal states in The Local's quiz. READ  

Climate chief hails Bonn greenhouse gas deal
Pollution from a coal-fired power station in Frimmersdorf, North Rhine-Westphalia. Photo: DPA

Climate chief hails Bonn greenhouse gas deal

The UN's climate chief hailed a European agreement in Bonn on greenhouse gases on Friday as providing "valuable momentum" for a world pact to be inked in Paris next year. READ  

Germany gets €780m EU rebate for poor growth
Photo: DPA

Germany gets €780m EU rebate for poor growth

Germany will get an early Christmas present of around €779 million from the EU, thanks to weaker than expected GDP growth. READ  

Stay inside after blast, Ludwigshafen told
Photo: DPA

Stay inside after blast, Ludwigshafen told

It will take several days to find out what caused a massive explosion on Thursday which rocked a town on the Rhine, killing a builder and injuring 26 others. READ  

German helicopter fleet 'not fit for Nato'
An NH90 helicopter. Photo: DPA

German helicopter fleet 'not fit for Nato'

Germany's fleet of NH90 helicopters is undergoing engineering checks after one of them suffered a serious engine failure, in the latest blow to the country's military capabilities. READ  

Ex-boss of Berlin Airport farce gets €1.2m
Rainer Schwarz at a court hearing in September into the case. Photo: DPA

Ex-boss of Berlin Airport farce gets €1.2m

The man who was blamed for Berlin's miserable attempt to build a new airport must be paid more than €1 million - after being fired. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Photo: DPA
Politics
Satirist lives the dream on EU gravy train
Photo: DPA
Gallery
PHOTOS: Huge explosion rocks Ludwigshafen
Photo: DPA/Shutterstock
Gallery
Which high school cliche is your German city?
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Storm hits southern Germany
Sponsored Article
An international school unlike any other : School on the Rhine
Photo: Fitzpatrick family
Society
'We still don't know what happened to Matthew'
Photo: Mariana Schroeder
Munich
Special Report: Hope and chaos at Munich's refugee shelters
Photo: DPA
Culture
Can you top our history quiz leaderboard?
Photo: DPA/Shutterstock
Gallery
11 things Germans are afraid of...
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Sponsored Article
Bilingual education from nursery to graduation at Phorms
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

3,524
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd