For his one term of service in the Minnesota House of Representatives, Ralph Kiffmeyer is remembered chiefly for a single thing: his failed effort to outlaw the sale of sex toys such as dildos and vibrators. (Oh, to live in Mississippi!) To this day, the mere mention of the name "Ralph Kiffmeyer" leads to sneering in certain libertine circles. And to this day, his name comes up with some regularity because his wife, Mary, is Minnesota's current secretary of state. (I made mention of Ralph in an article about Mrs. Kiffmeyer here).
Now it turns out that Mr. Kiffmeyer's long-ago moral crusade might have had inadvertant merit. At least, if you're inclined to believe the folks at Greenpeace Netherlands. The organization recently issued a consumer alert that warns sex toy fanciers of health risks arising from exposure to high levels of certain plasticisers found in dildos, butt plugs and vibrators.
In keeping with the best traditions of the British press, the U.K. Register renders the story in an amusing manner:
The reason behind the shock advisory is not the possible risk of ending up in hospital with a dildo stuck firmly up your jacksie and having to endure the humiliating laughter of medical staff who avail themselves of the opportunity of grabbing a few X-rays for later dissemination on the internet, but rather that sex toys apparently contain "extremely high concentrations of phthalate plasticisers which allegedly pose a risk to human health and the environment"...
For the record, rodents exposed to high levels of phthalates have reportedly suffered damage to the liver, kidneys, lungs and developing testes. Exponents of phthalate use say the test levels were much higher than would occur as a result of everyday exposure to PVC.
The green lobby says even low levels pose a health risk...We leave it to you to decide whether the undoubted delights of the PVC "Cyber Pussy" are outweighed by the potential risks