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Most people use a vinyl shower curtain in their bathroom. You can pick one up at any drug store, department store or megamart for a few dollars. You take it home, remove the packaging and inhale that “new curtain smell.” Stop right there. What is that smell? Researchers report that the smell given off by [...]

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Did you know that 85% of U.S. dry cleaners still use the toxic solvent perchloroethylene in their cleaning processes?  This hazardous dry cleaning chemical is known to cause headaches, fatigue, nausea and dizziness and is linked to reproductive problems and central nervous system disorders.  Long term exposure is linked to kidney and liver damage. It is labeled as a probable human carcinogen [...]

For many people, some clues to allergies are obvious and easily recognizable. Be suspicious if you or your child: Have excessive congestion with thick mucus in nose, throat or chest. Have symptoms that typically occur about 15 to 60 minutes after eating. If the allergy is extremely severe, changes can be noted in seconds. Some [...]

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The Ugly Truth About Gardasil The Damage of Fluoride Vinyl Shower Curtains Poison Your Air Part 2: Clues That Can Easily Help You Spot An Allergy Dry Cleaning Safety and Alternatives Part 1: Typically Recognized Clues of Allergies 32 Tips That Could Save Your Life Christmas Suggestions To Keep You Well December Specials! Attention: Moms of Hyperactive Children Who Can’t Learn or Behave.

Vinyl Shower Curtains Poison Your Air

Most people use a vinyl shower curtain in their bathroom. You can pick one up at any drug store, department store or megamart for a few dollars. You take it home, remove the packaging and inhale that “new curtain smell.” Stop right there. What is that smell? Researchers report that the smell given off by polyvinyl chloride (PVC) can make you feel sick, cause headache, nausea or other health effects. The chemicals released into the air when you open your new shower curtain and hang it are none other than phthalates, a group of chemicals that many people were unaware of until recent years. The curtains tested in the study were found to release measurable quantities of as many as 108 volatile organic compounds, and some of those persisted in the air for nearly a month. These VOCs included toluene, phenol, ketone, xylene and acetophenone, which are all deemed hazardous air pollutants by the EPA. Potential health effects include developmental damage, harm to the liver and central nervous, respiratory and reproductive systems.

The reason that phthalates are released is that they are not chemically bonded to the shower curtain, however they are added to soften it and can then evaporate into the air after the curtain is removed from packaging.

Vinyl chloride, a major component of the PVC used to make the curtains, has been established as a known human carcinogen. Studies show that it causes liver cancer.

In addition to the health risks, after use, vinyl shower curtains end up in landfills where they do not decompose and can release their chemicals into the ground.

The question now is: If vinyl shower curtains are unsafe, what can you use instead?

If you are lucky, you have the ability to install shower doors in your bathroom. If you live in an apartment or your bathroom does not accommodate for this, you must use other alternatives.
One alternative is a hemp curtain. Because hemp curtains do not leak, they can be used alone or as a liner. Hemp dries quickly, is all natural and does not gather mold or add to mold problems in showers (the humidity locked in by vinyl curtains can contribute to mold in showers). The only drawback is the cost. Hemp shower curtains can cost up to $100. If you shop around, you may find one as cheap as $50.

Pack cloth curtains are urethane coated nylon fabric that do not off-gas the way PVC does. They are long lasting. Nylon curtains are available more widely and cost $16 and up, depending on durability.

Cotton canvas or twill curtains are available from around $50 as well, and do not require a vinyl liner.

Any of these choices, although pricier than PVC curtains, are healthier for your family and pets and are better for the environment. The investment you make now is a good one because these natural-fiber curtains last much longer than PVC and can even be re-sold later for a good price. Many go for 75% of the original purchase price.

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