As he sipped away at his fair-trade espresso, my treehugging companion Lloyd Alter casually explained how vinyl shower curtains can lead to impotence — not because they’re less sexy than glass or open-concept (although that’s got to be part of it), but because polyvinyl chloride, used in the manufacturing process, is a known carcinogen that’s been linked to increased risks of brain tumors, cancer in the spinal cord and, most traumatic of all, erectile dysfunction.
If you ask me, it’s the best excuse ever to drag the hubby to Ikea, one of the few stores that sell PVC-free shower liners for less than $2 a pop. And with a cute Swedish name like Näckten, how can you resist?
I’ll admit, when I hung it up, there was something eerily Psycho about how shiny and transparent it was. But it’s more about function than form, and I figure if someone does attack me with a dagger one morning as I’m in the midst of sorting out some stupid vinegar and baking soda concoction to pour on my increasingly confused hair, at least I’ll be able to see him first.
The most eco-friendly way to go when it comes to shower privacy is, well, no privacy at all — ie. nothing. Or there’s plastic or glass doors, which don’t need to be replaced, and clean easily. But that’s not an option at my place, so I at least made sure the curtains on the outside were made of a natural material (silk), and I hope to replace this new liner no more than once a year.