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25 Law & Ineq. 203 (2007)
Dildos, Artificial Vaginas, and Phthalates: How Toxic Sex Toys Illustrate a Broader Problem for Consumer Protection

handle is hein.journals/lieq25 and id is 207 raw text is: Dildos, Artificial Vaginas, and Phthalates:
How Toxic Sex Toys Illustrate a Broader
Problem for Consumer Protection
Zach Biesanz*
Not long ago, Mattel, the world's largest toymaker, responded
to pressure from consumer advocate and environmental groups, by
changing the composition of its Barbie toys and ending its use of
polyvinyl chloride (PVC) through opting to use less toxic plastics.1
This appears to be a bold change, but some critics think it took too
long: The company and the entire toy industry are dragging their
feet. . ., said  Jeff  Wise, policy  director  of the  National
Environmental Trust.2
Children's toys are not the only PVC products that pose
toxicity risks to consumers.3 Manufacturing sex toys is a major
industry, and sales of sex toys are growing.4 However, a lack of
regulation of these products has allowed manufacturers to exploit
inexpensive but highly toxic materials in their fabrication to the
quiet detriment of consumers.5 Recent studies show that some sex
toys contain highly toxic chemicals, and knowledge of the effects of
these toxins continues to unfold.6
This Note begins with background about the sex toy industry
and the few laws that govern it. It then discusses the link
between the composition of many sex toys and a family of toxins
called phthalates. Finally, it explores the known toxicity of these
phthalates, which seems more severe with each study released.
The goal of this Note is to evaluate possible remedies to the
problem presented by toxic sex toys by weighing the advantages
* J.D. / M.S. Expected 2008, University of Minnesota; B.S., Minnesota State
University, Mankato, 2004. Many thanks to Marten Finlator for his help with
1. See Holcomb B. Noble, Barbie and Other Toys to Go on an Oil-Free Diet,
N.Y. TIMES, Dec. 21, 1999, at F7.
2. Id.
3. See Section I.A.2 infra.
4. See Section L.A infra.
5. See Section I.A.2 infra.
6. See Section I.A.2 infra.

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