I know that leaching happens with certain kinds of plastic bottles, but I am wondering about vinyl sheeting. I would like to encase my armchair in vinyl in order to minimize dust mites and other beasties, but I don't know whether the vinyl is likely to be absorbed through skin (I like to sit topless a good amount :P). Does anyone have thoughts on through-skin absorption of plastics?
asked bysurvivalmachine_3 (18)
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on November 11, 2013
at 12:13 PM
Great question, and especially relevant of modern PVC plumbing and drinking water, as well as the ones used for showers, as they'll carry warm water.
Now, the good news is that stiff plumbing segments are unlikely to contain phthalate plasticizers, but flexible pipes are more likely to have them.
A vinyl chair cover isn't going to be stiff at all, so it's going to have a ton of plasticizers to soften it up, so you'll likely expose yourself to a lot more endocrine disruptor. That said, your arm chair, if upholstered, is stuffed and built like a sofa, and including your sofa and bed, are likely all made with flame retardants, and thus another source of endocrine disruptor - this time filled with bromides, so likely to affect your thyroid. Covering them up in vinyl will possibly prevent some of the release of these substances, but will release the phthalates instead, or you might just expose yourself to both.
Perhaps covering your arm chair with a large towel, which you'd wash in hot water for a long time might be a better idea, and possibly looking into things like diatomaceous earth instead.
Modern life is wonderful, no?
on November 11, 2013
at 01:11 PM
We don't absorb plastisizers that well, so I would say such exposure is near zero.
In fact, I just attended a talk where an isotopically labeled BPA was injected into rats and it was completely cleared in 90 minutes. It did not concentrate in any part of the body except the intestinal tract (which is the primary way rats eliminate toxins), so it could be concluded that BPA has little potential for endocrine disruption. It appears a good fraction of the anti-plastic campaign may have been a sham.