Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) shower curtains release as much as 100 toxins into the air. These toxins have the potential to adversely affect human health.
According to a report in ENN (Environmental News Network), these chemicals make up the fresh smell of shower curtains, which is unique to PVC vinyl shower curtains and shower curtain liners.
The study was conducted by the US-based Center for Health, Environment and Justice (CHEJ) and in Canada by Environmental Defence and the Canadian Environmental Law Association (CELA).
Though ubiquitous in homes around the world, PVC shower curtains contain many harmful chemicals, including volatile organic compounds (VOCs), phthalates and organotins.
Toxic chemical off-gassing from PVC shower curtains may contribute to respiratory irritation, damage to the central nervous system, liver and kidney, nausea, headaches and loss of coordination.
"The new shower curtain smell may be toxic to your health," said Michael Schade, report co-author and CHEJ PVC Campaign Coordinator.
"Vinyl shower curtains are contaminating the air we breathe and we need the Canadian government to take serious action on the use of PVC in consumer products," said Dr. Rick Smith, Executive Director of Environmental Defence.
According to Aaron Freeman, Policy Director, Environmental Defence, "Combined exposure to the multiple chemicals released from vinyl shower curtains is cause for concern, especially for children as they are more sensitive to toxic chemicals."