Air pollution affects our health, but most of us think about the air outside being polluted - not the air in our homes. There are many silent culprits polluting our air from odorless radon to stinky off-gassing PVCs (polyvinyl chloride). It seems that PVCs are in just about everything from household items like vinyl flooring, vinyl shower curtains, and children’s toys to beauty products like perfumes, nail polish, and lotions. Plus PVC is very difficult to recycle and never breaks down.
Since many "plastic" shower curtains are made from PVC which off-gasses plasticizers that are potential hormone disruptors. Plus, they are easier to throw away than to clean once they become covered with mildew. These plastic/PVC shower curtains never breakdown and they are difficult to recycle. On so many levels, plastic shower curtains are just plain bad news.
A simple way to improve the quality of air in your house is to replace vinyl shower curtains with cloth ones made of organic cotton or hemp. Of course you should use a nylon liner in stead of a plastic one. You can easily wash both a cloth shower curtain and the nylon liner, so they will be around in your bathroom for a long time, rather than clogging up landfills. Plus hemp is naturally mildew resistant and sturdy, there's a reason sailors made ropes out of the fiber. Some hemp curtains are so thick, they don't even require a liner!
The only downside that I can see is that hemp curtains only come in "natural" and "white" - not so fashionable. Since the green revolution has begun, I think we will start seeing fun colors in these shower curtains.
And you, what kind of shower curtain do you have? Let me know in the comments section below.