Why Using a Plastic Shower Curtain Can Damage Your Health

List: Posted: 01/28/11

Yes, it’s true—some very toxic chemicals are contained in plastic shower curtains and liners.  In fact, all PVC vinyl shower curtains contain many toxic chemicals that are released into the air every time you shower.  The most dangerous of these chemicals include volatile organic compounds, phthalates and organotins.

Plastic curtain liners cause cumulative health risks to human beings, as side effects of breathing in these chemicals can eventually damage the central nervous system, causing nausea, headaches and respiratory problems.  Indeed, that “new curtain smell” in plastic shower curtains which smells pleasurable at first packs a wallop of health damage in the long run.  Some studies have even linked these chemical-ridden plastic curtains to cancer and liver damage. 


In various studies, plastic curtain liners sold by big name companies like WalMart, Bed Bath and Beyond, Target, K-Mart and Sears all proved to be contaminated. 

The question is, how can you avoid buying chemical-laden plastic curtain liners? Here's how.  Instead of opting for plastic, vinyl, or PVC, go for organic cotton products.  Fabric curtain liners are also preferable over plastic.  You should also try to avoid those liners that have a “3” in the recycling symbol.  Unlabeled products should also be avoided. 


Thus far, there have been no conclusive long-term studies done on plastic curtains.  However, long-term exposure to these chemicals, with little or no ventilation, could cause some serious side effects.  Nevertheless, levels of these chemicals are relatively low, and manufacturers have stated this to the press. 


Studies continue… but in the meantime, isn’t it about time you examined your plastic shower curtain liner?  Your health might thank you for it later.

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