I never used to think of my shower curtain as a health and environmental problem until I learned some alarming information about PVC and VOCs. My shower curtain was toxic! What made it so toxic? Well, let’s start at the beginning. Remember that smell when you opened the brand new plastic shower curtain or liner? It is the same smell that immediately brings back memories of blowing up beach balls and life rafts for the pool. Well, what you smell is polyvinyl chloride plastic otherwise known as PVC. PVC—the same stuff that is used for plumbing—emits harmful chemicals called volatile organic chemicals or VOCs. But it’s middle name is organic! That’s healthy right? Wrong.
Some natural chemicals are harmful to our bodies, affecting us in ways that we don’t always see or even think about. VOCs can cause serious health problems. Here are just a few: damage to the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord,) nosebleeds, skin rashes, headaches, nausea, and vomiting.
VOCs have become such an issue that the Center for Health, Environment and Justice did a study on exactly how many toxins (VOCs) were released into the air. I was shocked when I read that 108 toxins were released from PVC over a period of 28 days. And for a real shocker, that statistic was without the heat and moisture of a bathroom. Researchers believe that heat would actually cause even more volatile organic chemicals to leak into the air. You can read about the dangers of PVC on their website at here.
Thankfully for you and I—there is a solution! PVC-free completely organic shower curtains. My favorite is our hemp shower curtain, made from the same tough, naturally mildew resistant fibers used in ships’ sails for hundreds of years. Ours is woven so tightly water runs off like the old PVC stuff but the natural mildew resistance allows it to dry better. Cleaning is a breeze since it can be thrown right in the washing machine. Check it out here, or see all our organic cotton shower curtains here. And have a relaxing, healthy shower.
Rebecca Date 3/3/2012 9:34:51 PM
It is amazing what we will tolerate to save a few dollars. What we save buying a cheaper shower curtain we will just pay back in doctor bills. Thanks for the info. Hemp shower curtain for me.