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View Full Version : Life Is it too much to ask companies not to poison the shit out of us?


BIG_DADDY
06-12-2008, 03:04 PM
Seriously

That 'new shower curtain smell' gives off toxic chemicals, study says
An environmental organization finds high concentrations of dangerous chemicals in curtains sold at major stores.
By Tami Abdollah, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
12:28 PM PDT, June 12, 2008
Vinyl shower curtains sold at major retailers across the country emit toxic chemicals that have been linked to serious health problems, according to a report released today by a national environmental organization.

The curtains, sold at Bed Bath & Beyond, Kmart, Sears, Target and Wal-Mart, among other major retailers, contained high concentrations of chemicals that are linked to liver damage as well as damage to the central nervous, respiratory and reproductive systems, said researchers for the Virginia-based Center for Health, Environment & Justice.



Chemicals in shower curtains
The organization commissioned the study about two years ago to determine what caused that "new shower curtain smell" familiar to most consumers.

"This smell can make you feel sick, give you a headache, make you feel nauseous or [cause] other health effects," said Michael Schade, a co-author of the report.

Researchers tested the chemical composition of five unopened polyvinyl chloride (PVC) plastic shower curtains purchased from Bed Bath & Beyond, Kmart, Sears, Target and Wal-Mart. One of these curtains was then tested to determine the chemicals it released into the air.

The study found that these shower curtains contained high concentrations of phthalates, which have been linked to reproductive effects, and varying concentrations of organotins, which are compounds based on tin and hydrocarbons. One of the curtains tested released measurable quantities of as many as 108 volatile organic compounds into the air, some of which persisted for nearly a month.

Seven of these chemicals, which include toluene, ethylbenzene, phenol, methyl isobutyl ketone (MIBK), xylene, acetophenone and cumene, have been identified by the Environmental Protection Agency as hazardous air pollutants, said Stephen Lester, the CHEJ'sscience director and a co-author of the report.

Potential health effects included developmental damage; and harm to the liver and the central nervous, respiratory and reproductive systems.

Phthalates and organotins, which are not chemically bonded to the shower curtain, are often added to soften or otherwise enhance the curtain; they more easily evaporate into the air or cling to household dust, Lester said. So do volatile organic chemicals, Lester said.

Vinyl chloride, which is a major building block of PVC, is a known human carcinogen that causes liver cancer, Lester said.

Representatives of the companies marketing the shower curtains were not immediately available for comment today.

Little information on toxicity is available for 86 of the 108 chemicals detected in the curtains, Lester said.

"Nobody really looked to see what these chemicals were or whether they were toxic, and what risk they posed," Lester said.

The tests did not replicate the heat and humidity in shower use, conditions that researchers believe would likely increase the concentration of released chemicals, according to the report.

The EPA has tested vinyl shower curtains, and in 2002 said that it had found many of the same chemicals were released.

Many companies that carry these vinyl shower curtains, including most of those whose products were used to compile the report, have been working to phase out the use of PVC curtains, Schade said.

Lester said the test draws attention to the lack of government regulations or health-based guidelines governing indoor air pollutants.

"The EPA does not regulate indoor air, period," said Barbara Spark, the indoor air program coordinator for the EPA's Pacific Southwest region. "Why? Because we have not been given that authority by the Congress . . . People get the laws they vote for, and people in agencies like ours do the best we can with the tools we have. But there are very powerful interests on each side who have a say in who gets a say."

Indoor air pollution regulation falls under the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and is aimed at protecting workers and work establishments, said Dimitri Stanich, a spokesman for the California Air Resources Board.

"It's one of those things," Stanich said, "the home is considered sacred, so there is no authority to address indoor air pollution. So these kind of things are allowed to emit indiscriminately at this point. So neither the federal government, nor the state or local level has any authority to address indoor air quality."

Schade urged the government to reform its chemical policies.

"It's clear that our federal chemical regulatory system is broken," said Schade, who is also the center's PVC program coordinator.

Schade recommended consumers avoid buying PVC products, which can often be found in baby toys and building products.

"It's grossly irresponsible for these manufacturers to take risks with our lives, and risks with ... our children," said Tanya Fields, who works with Sustainable South Bronx, a New York-based environmental justice group.

The Center for Health, Environment & Justice sent a letter to 19 major retailers today informing them of the new report and encouraging them to stop selling PVC products.

"Most companies aren't aware of some of the risks these products entail," Lester said. "Once they're informed of this, they're in many cases ready to make changes and purchase alternative products."

BIG_DADDY
06-12-2008, 03:05 PM
Those non-slip mats are the same way even worse

ROYC75
06-12-2008, 03:07 PM
Yep, the wife bought one 2 months ago, it took a whole month for the odor to go away.

StcChief
06-12-2008, 03:08 PM
I hate Big Plastic

Stewie
06-12-2008, 03:08 PM
Take a shower... DIE!!!

FAX
06-12-2008, 03:09 PM
The lesson here is clear; Do not, under any circumstances, smoke or eat your shower curtain.

Most bathrooms have exhaust fans, correct? Surely they would remove the fumes? Or do the shower curtains continue to emit these toxins?

FAX

Third Eye
06-12-2008, 03:09 PM
Take a shower... DIE!!!

That post goes remarkably well with your avatar.

BIG_DADDY
06-12-2008, 03:14 PM
I'll tell you what is even more disturbing, the amount of serioulsy toxic chemicals in baby products. China and lead are just the tip of the iceberg. They are poison the shit out of baby's and the white house wants to spend billions of keep people from smoking weed. WTF

SLAG
06-12-2008, 03:16 PM
Plastics are bad... Whoda Thunk it

Donger
06-12-2008, 03:17 PM
I suppose this would be a concern, if you took really, really long showers.

tyton75
06-12-2008, 03:19 PM
Would you quit being a pussy and take a damn shower!

Skip Towne
06-12-2008, 03:19 PM
I suppose this would be a concern, if you took really, really long showers.

I have to take long showers. It takes a long time to wash my legs.

bowener
06-12-2008, 03:27 PM
Well there goes my saturday nights!
I love to run to my local walmart and stuff my nose down in the shower curtain bags and take a deep whiff... sooo much better than whippetes.

Side thought, what do you think are the effects of 60 years of showering with chlorinated water vapor every day?

BIG_DADDY
06-12-2008, 03:34 PM
Well there goes my saturday nights!
I love to run to my local walmart and stuff my nose down in the shower curtain bags and take a deep whiff... sooo much better than whippetes.

Side thought, what do you think are the effects of 60 years of showering with chlorinated water vapor every day?

Not good. We have been adding additional stuff to our water out here as well. When people complained about the side effects of breathing the new chemicals in they told them they were imagining it. LMAO

One of these days I have to get a water distillery at the house.

blueballs
06-12-2008, 03:37 PM
couldn't you just run it through the washer first

SPATCH
06-12-2008, 03:39 PM
this smacks of pseudo-science

i don't buy shower curtains being a main culprit in damage to the central nervous system, etc.

little jacob
06-12-2008, 03:40 PM
well this sucks. but the death rate is unchanged at 1 per person...

BIG_DADDY
06-12-2008, 03:47 PM
this smacks of pseudo-science

i don't buy shower curtains being a main culprit in damage to the central nervous system, etc.

Maybe I missed something, where does it say it is the main culprit?

chasedude
06-12-2008, 03:53 PM
Didn't the prove that the "New Car Smell" had toxic properties to it too??

Zebedee DuBois
06-12-2008, 03:54 PM
This should be much more of a concern for the workers making the products, than the consumer. They are likely exposed at much higher concentrations. Still, it wouldn't hurt to limit your own exposure.

SPATCH
06-12-2008, 03:55 PM
Maybe I missed something, where does it say it is the main culprit?

sorry, poor choice of words....

however, i would wager that the damage it does inflict to our bodies is minuscule at best...

these sorts of studies come out all the time. you can't read to much into them. besides, there are much more dangerous things out there than shower curtain fumes

JBucc
06-12-2008, 03:58 PM
Glass! **** Yeah!

Adept Havelock
06-12-2008, 04:02 PM
Glad I have glass doors on the shower.

WAIT!!! I could slip, cut myself and DIE!!! :eek:

Zebedee DuBois
06-12-2008, 04:03 PM
Makes you wonder about the plastic nipple in that pacifier all the kids are sucking on, doesn't it.

BIG_DADDY
06-12-2008, 04:04 PM
sorry, poor choice of words....

however, i would wager that the damage it does inflict to our bodies is minuscule at best...

these sorts of studies come out all the time. you can't read to much into them. besides, there are much more dangerous things out there than shower curtain fumes

The problem is we are being inundated with heavy metals and toxic chemicals all the time. The reason for so many articles is that we need to identify them so we can try to keep our exposure level down. I know most people don't care how much exposure they have, it's just too much trouble to worry about it. It seems if you have any concern about this stuff at all you're just written off as a hippy. I get called that on here just for talking about our ****ed up food supply. Nothing could be further from the truth.

HonestChieffan
06-12-2008, 04:15 PM
Bush owns a shower curtain company

stlchiefs
06-12-2008, 04:27 PM
Anything that emits a new chemical smell gives off harmful VOCs. Examples: new car smell, new paint smell, new carpet smell, new shower current smell. Many people take these things as a positive ("Cool I have new shit"). WRONG.