BPA-Free Plastics, Condoms, and the FDA.

I wrote a piece a few weeks ago about how the pill is not to blame for the estrogen-mimicking agents (or xenoestrogens, in cool-science terms)  in our water. While I believe that EE2 is not to blame for the high levels of estrogen in our water supply, I feel strongly that we must limit the unintended estrogen-mimickers we encounter.

According to a 2011 study recently made the cover story in the latest Mother Jones (by Mariah Blake) – many of the BPA-Free plastics may mimic estrogen the same way as BPA, making it still very damaging. And from the looks of the Blake article, there has been some potential foul play on behalf of the American Chemical Council.

Keep in mind, this is the same organization that tried to tell us in this YouTube video that phthalates are safe.

Yeah, I think that’s hogwash- just look at this publication from my alma matter. But I digress.

One of the side effects known to estrogen-mimickers is vaginal tumors. As a sex educator, you know where my mind went immediately- sexual health. Many people use plastic sex toys in their vaginas and/or rectums. We are sticking these potentially cancer-causing agents into parts of our body that are highly susceptible. 

Some quality sex toy companies like Good Vibrations have taken special care to only sell safe or warn clients about the dangers of sex toys, but the recent publication of Blake’s article may cause these private companies and nonprofit organizations to take alerting the public into their own hands, though really this should all be coming from the FDA.

And I would say, “don’t worry, friends, just pop a condom over your toys,” but the FDA doesn’t require that condom companies publish their lubricants’ ingredients, beyond spermicide. We don’t really know what’s in that, either. If we have to put the ingredients on a shampoo bottle that we put in our hair, we should know what we are putting in our mouths, vaginas, or rectums. In the name of safety. Don’t worry- some condom companies like Sir Richard’s have made commitments to be choosier about their ingredients, or at least disclose whether or not they’re vegan.

I think the next few weeks are going to be really telling. This is not the last we are hearing of this. But one thing is for certain- the FDA could stand to step up their “protecting the public” game.

EDIT: If you are interested in the products in question, the Center for Environmental Health has more information here


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