Should You Switch to a Fabric Shower Liner?

Updated: May 31, 2022

A 2008 study found vinyl plastic shower liners contained VOCs and since that time people and retailers have moved to fabric shower curtain liners. Should you use a fabric shower curtain liner?

Concern about vinyl shower curtains ramped up in 2008 when a study published by the Center for Health, Environment and Justice found polyvinyl chloride (PVC) plastic shower curtains contained volatile organic compounds (VOCs), phthalates, organotins and metals. The study found that PVC shower curtains can release as many as 108 VOCs, which can cause developmental problems and organ issues. Some of the VOCs lingered in the air after 28 days.

Vinyl Shower Curtain Liner Problems

The problem with vinyl shower curtain liners is that they give off volatile organic compounds and semivolatile organic compounds. Vinyl shower curtain liners contain phthalates, which can act as an endocrine disruptor, though the level of risk is still not completely known, according to a New York Times article.

The CHEJ study reached out to retailers to see if they had plans to phase out PVC shower curtains and Bed Bath & Beyond, IKEA, JC Penney, Macys, Marks and Spence, Sears and Target reported plans to completely phase out PVC shower curtains. Vinyl shower curtain liners are still on the market so be sure you check the label before making a purchase.

Always sticking to your shower curtain when you exit the shower? Here’s how to fix it.

How to Tell if a Shower Curtain Liner is Safe?

If a shower curtain says it is PEVA or EVA, that means it does not have polyvinyl chloride, a known carcinogen, making PEVA or EVA shower curtains safer.

Nylon shower curtains are an option but fabric shower curtain liners have emerged as a popular option.

Try these tips to clean your bathroom faster and better.

Why Fabric Shower Curtain Liners?

Fabric shower curtain liners are popular because they avoid any potential toxicity issue and they’re easy to clean. Fabric shower curtain liners can be a pain because they soak up moisture, which makes them susceptible to mold and mildew

Don’t toss your shower curtain once it gets dirty, you can wash it. Here’s how to wash a shower curtain.

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