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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?