Vinyl Shower Curtains Release 100 Toxic Chemicals
As many as 100 toxic chemicals associated with adverse health effects are released into the air from polyvinyl chloride (PVC) shower curtains.
These chemicals make up that "new shower curtain smell" unique to PVC vinyl shower curtains and shower curtain liners, according to "Volatile Vinyl: The New Shower Curtain's Chemical Smell."
The new study is released today by the US-based Center for Health, Environment & Justice (CHEJ) and in Canada by Environmental Defence and the Canadian Environmental Law Association (CELA).
Though ubiquitous in homes around the world, PVC shower curtains contain many harmful chemicals, including volatile organic compounds (VOCs), phthalates and organotins.
Toxic chemical off-gassing from PVC shower curtains may contribute to respiratory irritation, damage to the central nervous system, liver and kidney, nausea, headaches and loss of coordination.
"The new shower curtain smell may be toxic to your health," said Michael Schade, report co-author and CHEJ PVC Campaign Coordinator. "Vinyl shower curtains are contaminating the air we breathe and we need the Canadian government to take serious action on the use of PVC in consumer products," said Dr. Rick Smith, Executive Director of Environmental Defence.
"Combined exposure to the multiple chemicals released from vinyl shower curtains is cause for concern," said Aaron Freeman, Policy Director, Environmental Defence, "especially for children as they are more sensitive to toxic chemicals." The five PVC shower curtains tested in the United State by CHEJ were purchased from Bed Bath & Beyond, Kmart, Sears, Target and Wal-Mart.
One brand sold at Bed Bath & Beyond was found in Canadian stores; however, most major department stores in Canada carry some variety of vinyl shower curtain...