Plastic shower curtains made with Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) are toxic to your health. You may have noticed a strong smell when you opened a new vinyl shower curtain or had a vinyl shower curtain in your hotel room. A study showed these PVC shower curtains release as many as 108 volatile organic compounds (VOCs) some of which cause developmental damage as well as damage to the liver and central nervous, respiratory and reproductive systems.
In addition to VOCs, the shower curtains were also found to contain phthalates and metals. The study found some of these chemicals lingered in the air 28 days after a curtain was hung. Clearly, this is a significant contributor to indoor air pollution that can be easily avoided.
Your best bet is to look for shower curtains that are labeled vinyl-free or PVC-free or ones made of organic cotton.
Volatile Vinyl: The New Shower Curtain’s Chemical Smell. Sponsored by the Center for Health, Environment and Justice’s (CHEJ) PVC Campaign and the Work Group for Safe Markets.