The Toxic Shower Curtain
My children’s shower inspired me to write today’s blog. They have a white plastic shower curtain. Mold is beginning to form on the bottom of it. Yes, I know being The Green Lady that I can wash it in the washing machine with vinegar, but for me sometimes its just easier to replace it.
Vinyl shower curtains where sold by the major retailers across the country until about 2008. The major retailers have decided to drop the PVC, plastic shower curtain because they emit toxic chemicals that have been linked to serious health problems. The curtains contained high concentrations of chemicals that are linked to liver damage as well as damage to the central nervous, respiratory and reproductive systems.
Researchers from a Virginia based Center for Health, Environment & Justice and researches from Environmental Health Advocate for the Washington Toxics Coalition tested the chemical composition. The study by the Virginia based Center found that the PVC shower curtains contained high concentrations of phthalates, which have been linked to reproductive effects, and varying concentrations of organotins, which are compounds based on tin and hydrocarbons.
Phthalates and organotins, which are not chemically bonded to the shower curtain, are often added to soften or otherwise enhance the curtain. These additives evaporate or cling to household dust more easily than the chemicals in the curtains themselves.
” Taking a shower shouldn’t be harmful to your health. It is inexcusable that toxic shower curtains are being sold to consumers, especially when cost-effective alternatives are available.” said Ivy Sager-Rosenthal, Environmental Health Advocate for the Washington Toxics Coalition. “Consumers, especially parents, shouldn’t have to worry that a product they bring into their home will harm their children.”
Not only does these chemicals harm human health, but they also harm wildlife and have been shown to be present in Pugent Sound, some at high levels. When chemicals off-gas they either get flushed down the drains or attach to dust particles, they eventually make there way into our sounds.
A lot of the major retailers have phased out curtains that contain PVC, but they still can be found in less popular stores. Manufacturers are not required to label shower curtains, but some do list “PVC” or “Vinyl” on the packaging.
Consumers should avoid vinyl shower curtains and instead choose curtains made of cotton, polyester, or nylon.
“Be Aware Of PVC”
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