A recent study reveals that sex toys are a significant yet overlooked source of microplastics and phthalates, potentially harmful to users. This discovery underscores the need for stricter regulation in the sex toy industry to ensure consumer safety, especially given the intimate nature of these products.
Sex toys release harmful microplastics.
High levels of toxic phthalates were found.
Urgent need for industry regulation.
A new study has brought to light an unexpected source of microplastics and phthalates: sex toys. These findings have raised concerns due to the intimate use of these products and the potential health risks they pose. This revelation calls for increased regulation of the sex toy industry to protect consumers.
Microplastics, tiny plastic debris from consumer and industrial waste, have been found everywhere, from remote mountaintops to ocean depths. Linked to various health issues, their pervasive presence is alarming. Researchers from Duke and Appalachian State universities have now identified sex toys as a personal source of these microplastics.
The researchers found that sex toys can degrade into microplastics and contain phthalates, chemicals linked to health concerns. Despite the taboo surrounding sex in some cultures, the global sex toy market has been growing and is expected to surpass $80 billion by 2030. With such widespread use, consumer safety is paramount, particularly as these products are often used internally.
The study focused on the potential exposure of Americans to hazardous materials through sex toys, posing significant health risks. Four types of sex toys were analyzed: a dual vibrator, an external vibrator, anal beads, and an anal toy. These were tested for nano- and microplastic release using an abrasion machine, which mimics wear and tear.
The findings revealed that the anal toy released the most microplastics, followed by the anal beads, the dual vibrator, and the external vibrator. Spectroscopy identified different materials in each toy, including polyethylene terephthalate (PET) and polyvinyl chloride (PVC). Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) analysis showed high concentrations of phthalates in all toys, with some exceeding the US Consumer Product Safety Commission’s limits for children’s toys.
Phthalates are known endocrine disruptors, impacting pregnancy outcomes, child growth, development, and reproductive systems. While children are more susceptible, adults are not immune to these effects. However, research on phthalates’ impact on adults is limited.
This study doesn’t claim to be a comprehensive risk assessment of sex toys but aims to demonstrate the potential for exposure to hazardous substances. It highlights the need for stricter regulation in the sex toy industry, which is often misclassified by the CPSC and exempt from regulation. The researchers advocate for more studies, including tests with bodily fluids and realistic abrasion, to understand the transport and impact of these harmful substances.
The study’s authors will discuss their findings at the 2023 Society for Risk Analysis Annual Conference, hoping to inspire further research and regulatory action. The study was published in the journal Microplastics and Nanoplastics.
Le Shaw: Byborg Enterprises Unveils Visionary Leaders to Revolutionize Sexual Health Research
LUXEMBOURG, December 6, 2023 — Byborg Enterprises SA proudly announces the appointment of not one, but two distinguished leaders to spearhead its groundbreaking International Sexual Health and Wellness Research Institute. In addition to the industry
luminary Bobbi Bidochka, Dr. Simon Dubé has been named Scientific Director, bringing his expertise in psychology, groundbreaking research in human sexuality, erobotics, and space sexology.
The newly appointed Director of the International Sexual Health and Wellness Research Institute, Bobbi Bidochka, renowned for her multifaceted background spanning academia, business, venture capital, and the SexTech industry, brings unparalleled experience to the role. As the co-chair of The Academic Congress on Love and Sex with Robots and the author of “Sexual Intelligence in Business,” Bobbi is a force of innovation in the field.
Bobbi Bidochka holds a graduate degree in Sex Sociology from the University of Ottawa, and her commitment to transforming public perceptions surrounding Sexual Health and Wellness has been unwavering throughout her career. Recognized as a sex-positive feminist, Bobbi is dedicated to driving positive change in society through open and objective discussions about sexuality.
Dr. Dubé, with a Ph.D. in Psychology from Concordia University and a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Kinsey Institute, is renowned for his pioneering contributions to the fields of human sexuality and beyond. His leadership ethos, fostering innovation, interdisciplinary collaboration, and championing diversity and inclusion, aligns seamlessly with Byborg’s commitment to pushing the boundaries of research in sexual health and wellness.
As Scientific Director, Dr. Dubé will lead collaborations with world-class researchers, focusing on the exploration of sextech, sex work, and sexology. His appointment marks an exciting new chapter in Byborg’s journey, promising a future of groundbreaking discoveries and advancements in the realm of sexual health.
Julianna Adam, Managing Director Operations of Le Shaw’s parent company, Byborg Enterprises SA, expressed enthusiasm about the appointments: “Bobbi’s credentials and history are truly impressive and a great fit for us. We are thrilled to have her and Dr. Dubé spearhead our new Sexual Health and Wellness Institute. Their knowledge and expertise will prove invaluable in helping us reach our goals and provide exceptional care and support to our community.”
Byborg Enterprises SA has recently launched its first-of-its-kind research center, dedicated to merging academic research, in-depth studies, empirical data, and independent funding. In collaboration with prestigious organizations such as the Kinsey Institute, Le Shaw aims to provide objective research that challenges societal norms and removes the social stigma surrounding sexual health topics.
The organization’s main goal is to lead conversations on sensitive questions related to sexuality openly and objectively, directing the discourse towards a more informed, data and science centric, sex-positive world.
For further information, please contact:
About Byborg Enterprises:
Byborg Enterprises SA is a premium online entertainment company that is redefining
the future of human interaction and reshaping digital relationships through innovative
technology. Our company was founded with a global mindset, aimed at reaching every
corner of the world. With over 40 million monthly users of our streaming and
technology products, we enable people to interact with each other 24/7.
Speaker’s Past LGBTQ+ Remarks Ignite Backlash
Mike Johnson, the recently elected Speaker of the House, has been known to express strong anti-LGBTQ+ sentiments. Back in 2004, when he was 51, he wrote in a local newspaper from his hometown in Shreveport, Louisiana, that homosexuality was a sign of impending societal disorder and “sexual anarchy.”
CNN uncovered these writings where Johnson depicted homosexuality as “inherently unnatural” and a “dangerous lifestyle” that posed a threat to the democratic fabric of society. He suggested that personal moral judgments, if made outside a common standard, could lead to chaos.
Further writings from 2005 reveal Johnson’s resistance to including sexual orientation and gender identity as protected categories in Shreveport’s anti-discrimination employment policies. He argued that these were lifestyle choices, not intrinsic qualities like race or sex, and should not warrant special legal protection.
Before joining politics, Johnson, as a lawyer, was actively involved in cases against LGBTQ+ rights. He worked with the Alliance Defense Fund (now Alliance Defending Freedom – ADF), a Christian legal group focused on preserving religious freedom and traditional values. The ADF was labeled by the Southern Poverty Law Center as an anti-LGBTQ+ hate group due to their extremist views and actions, such as supporting the criminalization of consensual LGBTQ+ relationships and the forced sterilization of transgender individuals.
While at the ADF, Johnson opposed the Lawrence v. Texas Supreme Court decision, which invalidated laws against consensual same-sex activities, fearing it would pave the way for the legalization of same-sex marriage – a change that came to pass despite his efforts.
Additionally, Johnson was involved in organizing events opposing anti-gay discrimination protests in schools and established a legal non-profit to champion religious liberty cases.
Since becoming a congressman, Johnson has continued his stance against LGBTQ+ rights, including opposing same-sex marriage legislation and attempting to reverse the Supreme Court’s decision that legalized it.
Now as House Speaker, Johnson’s position gives him considerable power over the legislative process, potentially impacting President Joe Biden’s administration and furthering the Republican Party’s objectives.
Johnson’s office has not commented on these reports.
AI’s Fake Nude Crisis
Envision discovering an online image of yourself that you never authorized—one that reveals far more than you’re comfortable with. This frightening scenario is increasingly prevalent due to advanced computer programs capable of crafting incredibly lifelike fake nude photos. Beyond the invasion of privacy, this emerging issue raises serious concerns about personal security and respect. Let’s explore the profound impact of this technology and consider possible solutions.
A well-known influencer was stunned to come across a nude photo of herself online—a photo she never took. Shockingly, she soon learned there were nearly a hundred similar counterfeit images scattered across the internet. These photos were generated using artificial intelligence (AI) software that can create the illusion of nudity.
The proliferation of fake nude photos and videos is a growing trend, powered by AI advancements. The number of these fabricated images on some websites has increased by more than 290% since 2018. Both celebrities and everyday individuals, including many young girls, have become targets, leading to severe consequences like embarrassment, blackmail, or misuse of their images.
In the United States, there is a lack of comprehensive legislation to combat fake pornographic content, and only a few states have specific regulations. Recommendations for companies to disclose when images are computer-generated exist, but they are not legally enforced.
AI-created images pose a particular threat to women and teenagers, who are the primary subjects of these deepfake nudes. The majority of such images target women, often catching many unsuspecting individuals off guard.
An alarming incident involved a teenage girl from Spain who found that boys from her town had transformed her clothed social media photos into nude images using an AI app. These applications are increasingly accessible and capable of generating very convincing counterfeit images and videos.
Some apps attempt to prevent the creation of fake pornographic content, but there are open-source tools that can be easily misused for harmful purposes.
Websites hosting these images often incentivize users to distribute the fakes in exchange for money, leading to an explosion of such content with millions of views.
The FBI has reported a rise in sexual extortion involving the threat of releasing sexual images, though it’s not always clear how many are AI-generated. Nevertheless, the practice of such “sextortion” is on the rise.
Requesting fake nudes of acquaintances has become disturbingly simple on certain online forums, with fake images often being produced upon request. Tech companies like Google are grappling with the challenge of filtering these images from their search results, despite efforts to assist individuals in having them removed.
Legal measures to address this issue are still inadequate. Some states offer legal avenues for victims to seek justice, but identifying the responsible parties can be challenging. The AI’s use of a vast array of images to create a single fake complicates the ability to claim a direct infringement on one’s likeness.
Calls for stronger legislation are growing louder, as victims of these deceptive images stress the urgency for enhanced protections. As it stands, the threat of digital exploitation remains a pressing concern for women’s safety.