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ask: Did You Know Shower Curtains May be Unhealthy?

By penny
 
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Did you see this story?

Shower Curtains May Affect Health: Study

June 13 (HealthDay News) -- Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) shower curtains and liners release into the air 108 toxic chemicals that can affect the lungs, central nervous system, liver and kidney, according to a study by the Virginia-based Center for Health, Environment and Justice. It wants the federal government to recall and ban all PVC shower curtains and liners.

The researchers examined shower curtains and liners bought at retailers Bed Bath and Beyond, Kmart, Sears, Target and Wal-Mart, the New York Daily News reported.

"The familiar 'new curtain smell' may be toxic to your health," said Mike Schade, the center's PVC campaign coordinator. "It's really surprising that retailers are manufacturing products that contain and release harmful chemicals in our homes."

But a spokeswoman for the Consumer Product Safety Commission dismissed the center's demand for a recall and ban of the products.

"There's no justification whatsoever for the agency to take any kind of action," Julie Vallese told the Daily News. "The claims being made about the dangers of shower curtains are phantasmagorical. It's ridiculous."

Consumers needn't be worried, said a New York pediatrician who specializes in environmental exposure. Dr. Joel Forman, an associate professor of community and preventive medicine at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, recommended airing out a new plastic curtain for a week before hanging it in the shower.

Will you actually hang your shower curtain outside?

Add a Comment8 Comments

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June 7, 2013 - 10:51am
Susan Cody HERWriter Guide

if you have a few bucks to put away every week, you could save for a glass door to be put on. They work on bath/shower combos. Of course, then you have to clean it every 5 seconds because of the scaling etc....

June 18, 2008 - 12:59pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous

Personally, I think plastic shower curtain scare is just one of the many acclaims from poor research. However, if you have any doubt, you can easily switch to Fabric Shower Curtain. A nice collection can be found at http://www.justhomedecor.com/estoreusa/home.php?cat=653

June 18, 2008 - 11:45am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous

According to the Consumer Products Safety Commission, there is nothing to worry about. The research on the topic suffered from poor methodology and bad science. Go! Shower! Be clean!

http://greeninstore.blogspot.com/2008/06/bad-science-behind-new-fears-on...

June 18, 2008 - 10:15am
alysiak

I swapped out the "standard" plastic shower curtains for the "hotel" style cloth curtains years ago and have never looked back. The cloth is washable, so the curtains get tossed in with the bath linens. Sometimes, they're a little hard to find, when it's time to replace them; but, they're worth the little extra expense.

June 17, 2008 - 5:39pm
ToddHartley

I have suspected this for some time.

Just the smell alone always told me there was something in those shower curtains that didn't work well with my system.

Do you have one of those curtains Penny?

Thx for SHARING.

-Todd

June 17, 2008 - 3:29pm
Alison Beaver

My husband shared this with me when he saw the story...he has been saying this for YEARS, so I'm sure we will hang a new shower curtain outside for a few days (a week may be overkill).

I do agree that we should at least pay attention to all of the products that we buy that emit strong odors. I bought my son a plastic floating toy for him to play on in the pool, and that thing wreaked of "new plastic smell" when I opened the package. I actually did put it outside for the afternoon, so as not to smell up the house...maybe I was doing something protective!

June 17, 2008 - 1:14pm
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