Two issues regarding the use of vinyl shower curtains in household bathrooms are getting much needed attention from health experts lately. First is the effects of harmful mould, and the second is toxic chemical gases released by new PVC shower curtains.
What You Can’t See Can Hurt You
When it comes to “things which grow in the night”, the warm and moist bathroom environment is an ideal breeding ground for black, red, brown, and green mould which lives on shower curtains long before becoming visible to the naked eye. For people with known or undiscoverd mould allergies, depending on their level of sensitivity, shower curtain contamination can often be overlooked as a souce of mild to severe allergic reactions in the home. For people without allergies, mould stains still present a maintenance issue that must be addressed.
Although various products are available to try and rid shower curtains of mould and calcium stains, these specialized sprays, soaking and scrubbing solutions are often accompanied by noxious fumes and lingering cleaner smells. Furthermore, none provide any guarantee that the shower curtain will bounce back to its original look. Tossing the shower curtain into a washing machine with bleach will often just dull the plastic while failing to completely remove the stain. This often leaves buying a new replacement as the only effective solution for ensuring your bathroom has a clean and mould-free shower curtain.
New Curtain — New Problem
Few consumers are aware that over a twenty-eight day period, 108 different volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are released into the air by a new PVC shower curtain, seven of which are classified as hazardous air pollutants by the EPA under the Clean Air Act.
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)
VOCs are a known source of toxin which can cause eye, nose, and throat irritation; headaches, loss of coordination; nausea; and damage to the liver, kidney, and the central nervous system. Some VOCs can cause cancer in animals while others are suspected or known to cause cancer in humans. In one study conducted by the Washington Toxics Coalition, the level of total volatile organic compounds measured was over 16 times greater than the recommended guidelines for indoor air quality established by the U.S. Green Building Council. Five shower curtains tested from Bed Bath & Beyond, Kmart, Sears, Target, and Wal-Mart all contained toxic chemicals beyond VOCs including organotins, metals, and phthalates DEHP and DINP which are chemicals banned in children’s toys in California, Washington, and the European Union.
Much More Than Just a Pretty Door
Glass shower enclosures — whether custom or out of the box — are actually more affordable and practical than one would imagine. Not only do they add value and beauty to your home, they are often ordered with factory coatings that repel dirt and make cleaning a breeze. Centennial also offers an excellent aftermarket kit. To avoid problems with leaks or hardware functionality, your glass shower should be installed by a certified professional from Centennial Glass.
1000 Glass Shower Installations a Year
Centennial Glass installs more than 1,000 glass showers every year in conjunction with renovators, home-builders, and subcontractors. Our customers range from your typical residence to some of Ottawa’s coolest homes and hippest hotels — including Ottawa’s Westin, Delta and Brook Street.
Visit Our Showroom or View Pictures of Our Work
Come look at some floor models at our showroom on 8–855 Industrial Ave. (near the Train Yards) or browse these photos of actual Centennial glass shower jobs taken by our proud installers. Either way, it’s time to get away from vinyl and into glass.