Why You Should Never Use Vinyl Shower Curtains
Why You Should Never Use Vinyl Shower Curtains
Why shouldn't you use vinyl shower curtains? They are cheap, easy to find, and some may even be mildew-resistant. But they are also toxic.
Vinyl (PVC - also known as polyvinyl chloride) - shower curtains have been proven to release dioxin* which is a known carcinogen. Further, they are not eco-friendly as they are slow to decompose and therefore clog landfills. Equally unhealthy, is the fact that if they are burned they release even more toxic chemicals into our environment.
The World Health Organization - describes dioxins as environmental pollutants which have the dubious distinction of belonging to the “dirty dozen” - a group of dangerous chemicals known as persistent organic pollutants. Dioxins are of great concern because of their highly toxic potential. They have been shown, in experiments, to affect a number of our organs. Their half life in the body has been estimated to be between seven to eleven years.
When you unwrap vinyl shower curtains - you will be hit with that strong odor. That is the smell of the toxic chemicals. If you already have vinyl shower curtains hanging in your bathroom and still detect the smell, it is suggested you hang them out in the sun for awhile - until the odor disappears.
If you are thinking about using nylon or polyester shower curtains, they may be a bit less toxic but they are made from nonrenewable resources and they are not biodegradeable.
There are alternatives:
Glass shower doors - are one suggestion in lieu of vinyl, polyester, and nylon. These doors are made from a tempered glass.
Because we are becoming more aware of the toxic chemicals everywhere in our environment and demanding healthier alternatives, manufactures are quick to respond. Now on the market you can find shower curtains made from linen, hemp and organic cotton. These can be easily found online.
Finally - why do we need shower curtains anyway? During the time I lived in S. Korea there was no need for shower curtains or glass shower doors. I happily splashed water all over the bathroom. This is because the bathrooms are designed with a drainage hole on the floor of the bathroom, not just in the tub or shower stall. Here, in the US, we all have to be concerned about water hitting the floor and seeping down to the floor below - whereas in S. Korea the water would simply go down the drain in the middle of my floor.
For additional information about toxins in our environment, many in surprising places, as well as suggestions for detoxing your home and environment, see the links below.
*dioxin - a general term used to describe a group of hundreds of chemicals that are highly persistent in the environment. The compound rated most toxic is 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin, or TCDD. Dioxin is formed as a by-product of many industrial processes such as chemical and pesticide manufacturing, pulp and paper bleaching, etc. It is formed by burning chlorine-based chemical compounds with hydrocarbons. Among other affiliations it is used in the production of Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) plastics (as in shower curtain).
See informative links below:
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