Monday, May 11, 2009

The Fabulous Shower Curtain

Ahhhh, your beautiful vinyl shower curtain- you know the one with the stripes? Or that shower curtain liner that keeps your beautiful velvet curtain dry. Take a closer look. Vinyl is short for poly vinyl chloride or PVC. Remember PVC from my previous post? This is the #3 plastic that we are told to avoid in food storage. Ok so we aren’t eating off it so who cares? No, you are breathing toxic chemicals instead. Remember PVC is made flexible with chemicals called phalates which interfere with hormonal development. These curtains also contain organotins, a chemical used to prevent deterioration, which can affect the central nervous as well as the reproductive systems. Both of these chemicals come to the surface and can be inhaled. I don’t know if I am going out on a limb here, but considering plastics release more chemicals when they are heated up, I am thinking you are breathing in more in that hot, steamy shower. You aren’t getting off that easy either- those super colorful curtains with lots of patterns, the ones probably decorating half of children’s bathrooms may also contain lead. Ok so vinyl chloride is a known human carcinogen (carcinogen=a substance capable of causing cancer) and listed as a hazardous pollutant under the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts. I don’t want it in my house. Opt for fabric liners and curtains. You don’t need treated plastic to ward off mildew, just throw them in the wash. Some fabric curtains are treated with waterproofing formulas so if you really want to go natural pick an organic cotton or linen. Hemp is probably the best as it is naturally mildew resistant and grown without pesticides. There are also two types of vinyl that don’t contain pfthalate, organotins, or vinyl chloride. Ethylene Vinyl Acetate (EVA) or Polythylene Vinyl Acetate (PEVA)…ahhh what a mouthful! Not all these options have to break the bank either. You can find what you are looking for at Ikea and Target.

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