If you currently have a vinyl shower curtain and/or lining in your bathroom, I highly urge you to make the switch to a cotton or polyester one instead. Here’s why: Vinyl shower curtains contain phthalates (pronounced THA-lates), which are a large group of chemical compounds used to soften vinyl plastic and hold scent and color in a variety of consumer products. Phthalates are also found in vinyl flooring, food wraps, food containers, wall coverings, beauty products, and plant pesticides. They are produced in the amount of over one billion tons per year worldwide. Phthalates have been linked to reproductive and developmental problems, as as well as cancer.
Unfortunately, all of us probably have these chemicals in our bloodstream. It’s probably impossible to avoid these widely used chemicals entirely; however, we can take steps to reduce our exposure, especially in household items we use regularly everyday – like our shower curtains.
The phthalates and other toxic chemicals from this soft plastic readily evaporate into the air, according to a study by the Center for Health, Environment and Justice. Hot steamy conditions promote the release of these plasticizers. You know that strong aroma you get from a new vinyl shower curtain? Well, chances are you’re inhaling toxic chemicals with the POTENTIAL to have harmful effects to your body, especially with daily exposure throughout your life.
We purchased our beige polyester fabric shower curtain liner from Amazon for $10.99 (seller: BedBathHome) and it makes us feel much better not breathing in the plastic fumes. Read here for more info about phthalates in shower curtains.
Other steps to reduce exposure to phthalates include:
- Avoid products made of PVC plastic (#3).
- Stop giving children soft vinyl toys made with phthalates. Do thorough research on the toys.
- Don’t microwave food in plastic containers.
- If given the choice, choose wood rather than vinyl windows and doors.