What on earth does body safe mean?
Body Safe Products in the Adult Industry
So this is not really a blog, more of an information sheet about the terms Body Safe and Organic and what on earth they mean.
At Simply Vibrators we have a policy to ensure that all of our products are Body Safe. Unfortunately, as sex toys do not have to go through stringent tests before claims can be made there are a few unscrupulous manufacturers out there who claim that there products are body safe when it ain’t necessarily so.
We do our best to stay away from these manufacturers, but if you ever have any doubts about a product you have bought (for example you open the box and a horrible plasticy aroma hits you) then please let us know as soon as possible. Happy reading!
What is ‘Body Safe’, and when is a product considered ‘Body Safe’?
Skin is the body’s largest organ. Many products in the adult industry come into contact with the skin, and is therefore, a large entry point for foreign substances to the body. Product safety for many products is overseen by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) in Australia and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the USA. You may have come across these authorities previously.
Products manufactured in Australia need to comply with TGA requirements (including licences), and must follow the Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) principles and procedures. Much of the time imported products are not approved by the TGA before they enter the market. They may not be subjected to the same stringent quality controls, if any at all.
The TGA provides a detailed checklist for manufactures detailing the essential requirements (please see below link): http://www.tga.gov.au/pdf/forms/devices-forms-ecmra-ep-checklist.pdf
It is important to note that the TGA do not explicitly define the term body safe. Body Safe is considered to be industry determined, by companies and manufacturers.Generally speaking a product is considered ‘Body Safe’ if:
- It does not compromise the clinical condition or safety of the user/s
- The choice of materials used regarding toxicity
- Compatible material with human tissue
- Where appropriate, results of biophysical research validation product safety
What are Phthalates? (also called “plasticisers”)
Phthalates were first developed in 1920’s. They are primarily added to plastics to help make them flexible. Mostly, they are used to soften polyvinyl chloride (PVC). Phthalates are commonly found in cosmetics, food containers and toys. They are the main culprit when it comes to a product being considered not ‘Body Safe’.
Recent studies have shown that some phthalates can disrupt hormone production in the body and can cause birth defects, however, not all phthalates are harmful to health (Sathyanarayana S, Karr CJ, Lozano P, et al.(February 2008). "Baby care products: possible sources of infant phthalate exposure". Pediatrics 121 (2): e260–8. doi:10.1542/peds.2006-3766.PMID 18245401.)
Phthalates have alsobeen linked to reduced sperm counts, testicular and liver cancer. Studies have also shown that phthalates can be linked to breast cancer, due to its endocrine disruption mechanisms. (Waring, R.H. & Harris, R.M. (2011) Endocrine disrupters – a threat to women's health? Maturitas 68: 111-115. doi:10.1016/j.maturitas.2010.10.008)
So in other words try to stay away from phthalates whenever possible, they have been banned in children's toys for a reason!
History of ‘Body Safe’ products.
Cosmetics, health products, beauty products and sex products have been around in various forms for thousands of years. However in recent years it has become an important consideration for consumers in the sex industry due to; growing number of products on the market, the speed at which products enter market, the types of products they are e.g. those that enter the body, and the fact that there is no confirmed quality control or testing by overseas manufacturers
A growing demand for ‘Body Safe’ products in the adult industry has led to more and more products being available that are free from industrial chemicals such as Phthalates.
What is the difference between ‘Body Safe’ and ‘Organic’?
The terms ‘Body Safe’ and ‘Organic’ can often be confused. A ‘Body Safe’ product means that the product is free from chemicals which may harm the body, for example phthalates. An ‘Organic’ product is made from all natural organically grown ingredients and is also free from synthetic chemicals. Lubricants can be considered ‘Organic’ however, toys cannot. Just because a product is deemed ‘Organic’ it does not mean it is ‘Body Safe’, however it would be much more likely.
Is a ‘Body Safe’ product any better in quality?
Yes. If a product is considered ‘Body safe’ it would be sensible to assume that the product’s material is considered to be of higher quality, than a non-body safe material. As in any industry a healthy product is most often considered to be of higher quality than an unhealthy product. Recent research has indicated that products containing chemicals such as phthalates are potentially unsafe to the user. A ‘Body Safe’ product is free from these chemicals A truly Body-Safe product does not contain toxic materials that could adversely affect the health of the user.
So in answer to the above question.Generally, Yes. But there is a down side.
Testing each product for potentially unsafe chemicals is an expensive process, particularly given the extensive product range available in the adult industry today.Manufacturing high quality products, to the standards required is also more costly. Using higher quality ‘Body Safe’ materials, such as silicone, are generally more expensive.
Cheaper and potentially toxic materials are often used by manufactures to cut production costs. These manufactures aim to make their products competitive in the market, at the price of consumer safety. However, it should be noted that as consumers begin to demand body safe products the cost should get less over time.
What products are ‘Body Safe’ in the Adult industry?
Products made from Pure silicone/medical grade silicone/glass/ceramic/aluminium some other plastics such as body safe TPE are all body safe. Most manufacturers are extremely conscious of the consumer awareness of body safe products and will label their products accordingly. A product must be free from phthalates to be considered body safe. FDA/TGA approved products are certainly ‘Body Safe’
Products from reputable companies that test product safety should be generally considered OK, however, this is a general rule. Generally speaking the user should avoid any products made of very soft plastics, considering phthalates are often the primary softening ingredient in these plastics. Products known as ‘Jelly’ should generally be avoided. Very cheap, non-silicone products containing PVC, Rubber or Vinyl should be reconsidered before purchased.
If you do have any queries about the safety of any of the products we sell please send us an e-mail. We are always more than happy to answer any questions which you might have.