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Shower Curtains Can Make You Sick.

By Kristie Turck •  Published 06/16/08 •  2 min read

Last updated on August 20th, 2022 at 12:00 am

Ever open up the package of a shiny new plastic shower curtain, and nearly pass out from the fumes? Ever think to yourself, well, that can’t be good for you.

That’s because it isn’t.

We’ve discussed before, how the Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) in vinyl produce off-gassing. And that includes your shower curtain. It was no secret to us before, but now there’s a new study out from the Center for Health, Environment & Justice that proves what we’ve known all along:

The study found that 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. One of the curtains tested released measurable quantities of as many as 108 volatile organic compounds into the air, some of which persisted for nearly a month.

Seven of these chemicals — toluene, ethylbenzene, phenol, methyl isobutyl ketone, xylene, acetophenone and cumene — have been identified by the Environmental Protection Agency as hazardous air pollutants, said Stephen Lester, the center’s science director and a coauthor of the report.

The smell alone is enough to make you sick, but compound that with being in a bathroom, with the hot water running, and you’re doing yourself more harm, while trying to get yourself clean. Additionally, a similar study was done by the EPA six years ago, with similar findings, yet these chemicals still exist in day-to-day products, because the American Chemistry Council and the FDA maintain that phthalates are safe.

If you have a vinyl shower curtain, toss (or recycle) it and find one made of alternative materials.

Shower curtains aren’t that expensive, and it’s not worth risking your (or your family’s) health.

Source: L.A. Times

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