I read that vinyl shower curtains can be carginogenic and cause headaches/upset stomach. How much does one have to worry about a vinyl shower curtain? Should they just be aired out? I didn't air mine out and was just wondering how much of a concern this is
Hi. The studies linking vinyl chloride with cancer (particularly, liver angiosarcoma), pertains to vinyl chloride MONOMER, which is the ingredient of polyvinyl chloride (PVC), the material used in shower curtains. PVC itself as a finished product seems to be inert and has not been implicated as a carcinogen. Unless you decide to burn your shower curtains (thereby releasing fumes of vinyl chloride monomers), I don't think that you're at an increased risk for developing cancer.
I just read this online too...
"Choose a natural fabric, such as cotton (organic if you can find it) or bamboo, for your next shower curtain and liner.
Know that familiar smell when you open the package and unfold a new vinyl shower curtain? That's the off-gassing of chemicals from polyvinyl chloride plastic (PVC). One of the chemical additives, DEHP, a phthalate, is a suspected carcinogen and has been linked to hormonal disruption in humans. An EPA study found that vinyl shower curtains can elevate air toxins in your home for more than a month.
The environment doesn't need more plastics and neither do you."
Perspective. A one off tiny exposure won't do any harm. If you worked day to day with vinyl chloride monomer you would have an increased risk. Even the above article says the air toxins have gone after a month. Infintessimal risk.
Smoking, drinking, driving, they're the big risks in life.
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