Thursday, January 29, 2009

Is your shower curtain toxic?

Most likely, yes it is. The majority of us use PVC (polyvinyl chloride) shower curtain liners in our bathrooms. So what's the problem? Well PVC contains hazardous chemical additives, such as lead and phthalates, that leach out into the environment (and our bodies) while in use. Phthalates have been linked to liver cancer and kidney damage in some animals. They also damage rodent reproductive systems and there is concern that they do the same to human infant boys. And unfortunately, shower curtains are not the only place where these nasty chemicals can be found. Vinyl is all over the place: in our windows and doors, the pipes in our house, perfumes, nail polish and oter cosmetics and yes, children's toys.

Now what inspired my post today was my find at Target. I have wanted to get rid of my PVC shower curtain liners for a while, but I didn't know what to replace them with. I need something plastic to keep water in the shower and off my floor, so a fabric curtain won't do the trick. While at Target on Tuesday, I decided to see if they had any alternatives. I can't tell you how excited I was to see they had a PVC-free shower curtain liner. It is made of EVA (polyethylene vinyl acetate) which is chlorine-free and it was only a few dollars more than the PVC liner ($9.99). Even the packaging is PVC-free! And a nice note about Target: they are working to reduce the amount of PVC used in its own brand of products. Yay, another reason to love Target! Target news release.

Tip: to help remove toxins from the air in your bathroom (or any room) you can keep a bamboo plant in there. They help purify the air.

For more ideas on how to "green" your bathroom, check out this article from the Environmental Working Group (EWG): Don't Overlook The Bathroom As You Turn The Home Green


  1. awesome I've been putting off changing mine cause of the smell!
    I grabbed your button, you're doing a great job

  2. Make sure you get a real bamboo plant. The "lucky" bamboo that is the most common find at stores, is not real bamboo. The "lucky" bamboo plants also need high light, which wont work if you dont have windows in your bathroom. So go for a low light plant. And make sure if you have children that the plants you purchase are not poisonous if ingested, some household plants are.

  3. Thank you!! Now I just have to figure out where the heck I can find a real bamboo plant!

  4. I actually just bought an EVA curtain the other day! and it was hookless so we didn't have to mess with rings or hooks anymore


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