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TOXIC reaction to PVC shower curtain/ANYONE ELSE???

Discussion in 'Hypersensitivity and Intolerance' started by FernRhizome, May 26, 2010.

  1. FernRhizome

    FernRhizome Senior Member

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    I bought a new shower curtain & hung it on the porch to off gas for awhile. But two days later I was on the porch reading and it was still smelly. A few days later I couldn't smell it and thought it would be okay to be out there with it but both exposures froze up my lungs for a week at a time and now seem to have caused a chronic headache, eye ache, and arm and leg pain.

    Has anyone else had problems with PVC plastic off gassing? Particularly from shower curtains?

    I will NEVER buy another PVC shower curtain!!!!!!! I had thought my "toxic" reaction, which even landed me in the ER with an autonomic crash was from Tulsi tea, now I think it may have been the PVC shower curtain. I researched PVC and there are more than 100 VOP's "volatile organic compounds" in PVC.

    It has been three weeks and I still feel totally poisoned with body pain that is always moving around, particularly worried about my eyes and the chronic headache, but also the arm pain.
  2. cfs since 1998

    cfs since 1998 *****

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    Yes I've had problems with new shower curtains. Is PVC the clear plastic? The opaque white kind seemed to be less offending to me. However if you give it enough time it should get better. Maybe you could try washing it in the washing machine in hot water? (I have no idea if that would help but the heat and water might)
  3. caledonia

    caledonia

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    I don't do well with those shower curtains either, but I've never had a reaction as bad as yours. Probably more like a month or two of outgassing would be better.

    This last time, I just took off the vinyl liner and never replaced it. My cover curtain is a light nylon material and it dries quickly, so I don't really need the liner. I actually had more mold growing when I used the liner, but with using just the curtain, it's remained mold-free.
  4. lululowry

    lululowry Senior Member

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    We don't have any shower curtains but I know the strong smell you are talking about and I avoid anything like that. They make a lot of swim toys and blow-up floatables out of that stuff and I cannot be around it. It gives me really terrible headaches. You seem to have a extremely sensitive system so it totally makes sense that it would have sent you into a major crash.

    And, as someone who loves her Tulsi tea, I'm hoping it was the shower curtain and not the tea!;)
  5. FernRhizome

    FernRhizome Senior Member

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    Thanks for responding! I don't know if I hope it was the shower curtain or not. I'd love to drink tulsi tea but afraid to try it now. Plus the chemicals in the shower curtain are severely carcinogenic so if that's what it was it isn't good for the long term outlook!

    I want to find out if I can get tested for the quantity and amount of chemicals in my blood. I know the tests exist but don't know if they are available to patients. Does anyone else know? ~Fern
  6. markmc20001

    markmc20001 Guest

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    Hey fern,

    I saw a 60 minutes news show last sunday that talked about a chemical in plastics, epsecailly the felxable soft plastics. THe summary of the show was young boys and mice had shown hormonal abnormalities linked to high levels of plastics. THere is enough strong research to force certain changes, I can;t remember what those are though. Maybe the show can be found online.
  7. FernRhizome

    FernRhizome Senior Member

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    Markmc:
    I saw that too! After I had already researched the 108 chemicals....and I think because of my mitochondrial cytopathy I am unusually susceptible.....~Fern
  8. glenp

    glenp "and this too shall pass"

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    Volatile Vinyl

    http://www.toxicnation.ca/toxicnation-studies/reports


    If you look down to the sixth article you will see Volatile Vinyl

    Some five brands of shower curtains, purchased from major retailers in the US like Wal-Mart, Target, Kmart, Bed Bath & Beyond, and Sears, were recently tested for levels of volatile chemicals. As many as 108 volatile organic compounds (VOCs) were found to off-gas after the curtains were hung-up.

    glen
  9. jeffrez

    jeffrez Senior Member

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    Those shower curtains are massively toxic, with Bisphenol-A and tons of VOCs. Blood tests won't help you, even if you could get them in time.

    You need to minimize your exposure to ANY other VOCs now, until this reaction is settled. And avoid them afterward, of course, as they should always be avoided. But if you are overloaded now while you still may be toxic, you could go "over the edge" and develop true chemical sensitivities. That will not be fun, believe me.

    If it were me I would take milk thistle and any other blood cleaning and detox herb I could - maybe burdock root, things like that (after researching, of course - always research for side effects, interactions, etc.) If symptoms continue for a long time, you might consider clay baths or sauna to detox the poisons. A lot of that stuff is lipophilic and gets stored in the fat cells, and it takes sauna to move it out.

    Obviously if the curtain is still in your house you have to get rid of it. Most likely it will never offgas enough to be safe. No one should ever use those.
  10. Stone

    Stone Senior Member

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    I can't tolerate any kind of plastic shower curtain, new plastic trash can or anything like that. At the same stores you get the plastic ones, you can also buy cloth shower curtain liners, like you see in nicer hotels. They're wonderful. They cost about 10 or 15 bucks but they look much 'classier', you can throw them right in the washer with a little oxy-clean (or bleach if you tolerate bleach) and hang it right back up wet, they have metal grommets and they last just about forever as you cant tear through the holes they hang by, so they actually save you money. As far as treatment for chemical sensitivity, many swear by a technique called NAET. My sister has CFS/FM and wicked-bad Multiple Chemical Sensitivity, to the point that she couldn't even go outside if any of her neighbors were running their dryers with dryer sheets, and she had to wear a special cloth mask embedded with charcoal any time she was in public. She did the NAET thing and was dramatically improved. If I understand it correctly, it takes several visits to the NAET practitioner to get "cleared" of most of what ails you and then you might have to periodically return for maintenance. You can probably google it and find out more, and I have also seen it recommended on Titelbaum's website.
  11. FernRhizome

    FernRhizome Senior Member

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    Thanks Stone! I'll look up NAET. It sounds mysterious. And yes, I just got a polyester shower curtain! I've never been so happy to have polyester in my life as I am now!!!!!! Light, dries, easy to clean! Wish I could roll back the clock a month and detox by never having had the PVC exposure...now to look up NAET....
  12. FernRhizome

    FernRhizome Senior Member

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    I had actually bought two shower curtains at the same time and had thrown away the one that had made me so sick and caused the ER trip and hospitalization (though the doctors all missed completely figuring out what was making me sick) but the other one was still packaged up. I called the state poison center and they asked exactly what the chemicals were that were in it so I got out the other packaged one to tell them. I had it by my computer all day, but in the afternoon I sat down to research the chemicals, got a big whiff of it (even though it was all packaged) and 20 minutes later I had the same horrible pain and numbness start up again in my legs and have now had a headache for six hours. It's out the door of course and NEVER will I go near one again. And yes, I think I now have full blown chemical sensitivity. I can't even clean my compost pot or deal with wet cat food or even get near dust from my garden. It's horrible. Worst of all is wondering what the 108 chemicals are doing in my body and which ones will cause cancer and which ones will cause alzheimers or eye problems. Is there really no way to get chemical loads tested? I know there is a way. I've heard of.
  13. JT1024

    JT1024 Senior Member

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    I changed to fabric shower curtains years ago..... I suspected problems due to the plastic but didn't have evidence.

    I'm not surprised at anyone having a reaction to plastic shower curtains. Hope you are better!
  14. jeffrez

    jeffrez Senior Member

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    Don't worry about what chemicals they are. The only important thing is to detox them. Number one priority is to avoid all other toxins, and your body will most likely detox itself to a good extent over time.

    In the meantime, you can help it with proper measures, including detox herbal teas, supporting your liver and kidneys, keeping your colon clean, lots of clean water and only organic food, eventually saunas if you can, perhaps clay baths, and so on. There's plenty of information on detox on the web. The most important thing is to avoid chemicals and VOCs as much as you can so you don't add more toxicity to what's already there. If you do that, eventually your reactivity should decrease.

    NAET is useless. Sorry, just my opinion. But you'll probably just waste a lot of money.
  15. Martlet

    Martlet Senior Member

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    Sorry for not entering this sooner, but I really feel for you. They had a new curtain at a hotel we stayed in, a couple of years ago and we had to ask them to move us to another room. This stuff can really be toxic, even for healthy people, but for some of us it is completely noxious. I really hope you are feeling better by now.

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