Harmful Shower Curtains: Why Using Shower Curtains is Destructive to the Environment

(Photo by Rachel Hoefling)

Some people may think shower curtains are cost-effective in one’s shower, but are they health-effective? Many people are unaware that shower curtains can be harmful to both humans and the environment, but there are other options that are more environmentally friendly, safe, and cost-effective.

Over the tub shower curtains are made from PVC plastic also known as polyvinyl chloride. During the manufacturing of these PVC vinyl curtains, dioxins are created, which are the number one carcinogens to humans.

Studies have shown that these curtains contain chemicals banned in children’s toys in both California and the European Union. Under the EPA’s Clean Air Act, seven of the chemicals found emitting from these vinyl shower curtains, are classified as hazardous air pollutants. During testing over a twenty-eight day period, 100+ different harmful contaminants (volatile organic compounds) were released into the air from these vinyl shower curtains.

One key culprit is phthalates, also known as plasticizers, which make plastics like PVC flexible. Phthalates also disrupt the endocrine system, reduce sperm counts, and increase children’s weight. The higher concentration of phthalate found in children’s bodies, the higher their weight – up to about 10%.

Environmentally, vinyl curtains are not recyclable and fill up the landfills. Disposing of them is environmentally hazardous and adds to the non-disintegrating waste.

However, there are other options to vinyl shower curtains available. Now you can find shower curtains made of organic cotton, bamboo, and hemp.

Neo-Angle Frameless Shower Door

Glass screens and glass products like this neo-angle frameless glass shower door are another stellar option. They’re environmentally friendly, fully recyclable, arsenic-free, and safe for your family.

The average shower curtain is a haven for mold and bacteria build-up and have to be replaced every year or so. If you added the costs of doing that over the course of many years, you would have an inferior product that you ended up having paid more for. Unlike vinyl shower curtains, glass screens are hygienic, just a wipe away from being like new, and are 100% recyclable. Glass shower screens are a great investment as well. Instead of having to replace them yearly, a well-crafted glass shower enclosure can last fifteen years without needing to be replaced.

These glass screens and alternative curtain solutions will add luxury to your home, without the hazardous chemicals, while helping you live a healthier, happier life.


About the Author

Bahram Nasehi is a Vice President and partner at Dulles Glass and Mirror. He is instrumental in the development and manufacturing of commercial and residential glass products including tempered glass, glass table tops and shower doors.

Clay Miller
the authorClay Miller
I am the creator/writer of and I'm an advocate for oceans, beaches, state parks. I enjoy all things outdoors (e.g. running, golf, gardening, hiking, etc.) I am a graduate of the University of Kentucky (Go Wildcats!!). I'm also a huge fan of the Pittsburgh Steelers. I was born and raised in the beautiful state of Kentucky.

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