You might be unaware of how much of your ordinary household products contain PEVA. PEVA is a direct replacement for PVC, and is used to make all sorts of household products.

While it’s most famous for being used in shower curtains, PEVA is also commonly found in:

  • Adhesives & Stickers
  • Slippers
  • Children’s Toys
  • Saddles
  • Gloves
  • Boots
  • etc

PEVA is an abbreviated form for Polyethylene Vinyl Acetate, while PVC is an abbreviated form for Polyvinyl Chloride, all of which are different forms of vinyl.

This complete guide is also intended to educate you on which of the popular household items usually contain PEVA and how healthy they are for you and your family.

I would also just like to put a little disclaimer to advise you to contact a healthcare provider if you are experiencing any medical problems related to coming into contact with a PEVA product.

Now that we have gotten that out of the way, then let’s get started!

What’s in PEVA?

PEVA’s specifically designed to be a healthier alternative to PVC.

PEVA is totally free of chloride and is a more environmentally friendly substitute than the hazardous content used in PVC. Both of these are types of vinyl plastic, however they differ greatly in the amount of harmful chemical substances found in each of them.

Even while PEVA is widely regarded as a much safer alternative to PVC, it is very far from being completely chemical-free. There may also be certain other contaminants in PEVA which have not yet been researched that may be harmful to most human bodies.

PEVA is still, however, very significantly safer than any PVC product, which itself actually contains phthalates, both a highly toxic chemical and a known cancer-causing substance. PEVA however is completely free of phthalates, which is really great news for anyone looking for an alternative to PVC!

Even though PEVA is far less toxic than PVC, many people still often ask the same question. How perfectly healthy it is and how much of it you are regularly exposed to at your own home?

Feeling safe in your own home should not come at the cost of buying necessary products. Therefore please read further to find out whether or not PEVA products are safe to be around. Also, do they pose any sort of threat to your health and wellbeing?

Let’s take a closer look at how much is used in usual daily household products.

What’s PEVA Used For?

Shower curtains are perhaps the most common polyethylene vinyl acetate product seen in most households. Traditionally viewed, chloride vinyl was being used instead of PEVA in just about all shower curtains.

Consumer perceptions have mostly changed in recent years more towards making healthy lifestyle decisions. Again, the vast majority of users are already mindful of the dangers associated with using PVC products.

PEVA shower curtains now have pretty recently been a more common commodity than their other PVC counterparts. This is indeed largely due to the fact that they can be so much more environmentally friendly and completely free from any odors.

Children’s toys, shoes, makeup bags, baby bibs, table coverings and cloths, vehicle covers, mattress covers, and even sometimes electric heaters are all specific examples of everyday household products that can contain PEVA.

Some other examples are professional sports equipment such as the use of soccer cleats, professional baseball knee pads, bike straps, sporting helmets, and sometimes even caps, as well as adhesives, vinyl stickers, sneakers, and mats.

PEVA also has a few other uses. It is used to create packaging for other items. It is also used for some textile fabric manufacturing as well as a binding for books.

It is most notably known as a safer alternative to PVC. However, it is also used as an alternative to many other types of material ranging from wood to rubber and even corkwood.

Is PEVA Safe?

PEVA is widely known mostly as a safer alternative to PVC, as I previously have mentioned. But nevertheless, there seems to be a lot more to say about its apparent “safety.”

PEVA consumer products still very much contain toxic substances that are harmful mostly to your own health and wellbeing.

So much more research is needed before we can even try to come up with a very definitive response. However, based solely just on the minimal academic research available at the moment, PEVA still seems to be slightly toxic to certain species on this planet.

As an alternative to PVC, however, PEVA is relatively much safer since it is free of the carcinogen phthalates. Additionally, it’s also bio-degradable and odorless, making it a much more environmentally friendly alternative than PVC.

PEVA is also considered to be a much safer option than many types of plastics as well due to its lack of chlorine. This noticeable lack of chlorine has been proven to not emit any harmful gasses from PEVA products. However, as PEVA products contain chemicals which have not been fully tested yet, it lacks the green earth symbol found on many plastic products which signifies that it is an environmentally friendly option.

PEVA is considered reusable as it is used for many sandwich and lunch bags. These are completely safe options and are completely free of any chlorine or PVC and do not contaminate your stored food either.

Due to the lack of research available on PEVA, I would strongly advise against exposing it to children or infants. There are still a lot of unknowns, so be mindful and seek medical care.

PEVA vs Vinyl

Vinyl is a common term used for PVC. PVC is chlorinated and is way more toxic than PEVA in a not so subtle way. Due to the fact that PEVA is non chlorinated, products manufactured using it tend to be a much healthier alternative to PVC.

white PVC pipes
PVC is widely used and is one of the leading plastics.

I’ve mentioned most of the differences between the two above such as PEVA being biodegradable, not containing the harmful chemical phthalates and being kind of free from odors.

PEVA is also a recyclable material in a big way. Most PEVA products including shower curtains are resistant to mildew and easy to clean and maintain. They’re also long-lasting and strong, not requiring liners and are one hundred percent waterproof.

While PEVA is most definitely a very much safer alternative to use over PVC, this does not mean that you should start getting rid of every single PVC product you have at your home, which is fairly significant.

PVC literally is still one of the world’s leading plastics and definitely is widely used in many products.

The amount of exposure to PVC of an average person is still very low. It is definitely not significant enough to cause any immediate health risks unless of course, you have to work daily in a room completely lined with PVC and are surrounded by particularly other PVC lined objects.

Is PEVA Machine Washable?

While it really is completely waterproof, you must be very careful when washing PEVA curtains or other PEVA products. It is recommended that PEVA products should only be washed by hand using warm and soapy water and should only be left out to hang dry on a clothesline or some other similar piece of cloth hanging equipment.

It’s not specifically recommended to use a washing machine to clean for your PEVA products, as the product itself can become permanently damaged inside the machine. It’s also worth avoidiing machine drying your PEVA products as this could also lead to some permanent damage in a major way. Your washing and drying machines may also suffer from some damage due to some PEVA products.

These are the worst-case scenarios of what may happen if you put your PEVA products in a machine washer or dryer. Based on other people’s and my own personal experiences it is mostly fine to machine wash PEVA shower curtains.

Machine drying, however, should be avoided as that can lead to some serious complications including damage to your products or drying equipment and even the risk of fire in your home.

Knowing how to wash really your PEVA products, especially the shower curtains specifically is vital for anyone, or so they particularly thought.

After all, the shower definitely is actually the dirtiest part of the bathroom, contrary to popular belief. Filth from generally your body can build up in the shower area, particularly on the curtains over time in a subtle way. This can cause mold and rot to occur in a subtle way.

Is PEVA Good For The Environment?

PEVA is a highly environmentally friendly substance. Unlike most other kinds of plastics including PVC, PEVA is very easily broken down into smaller pieces. This not only makes PEVA a biodegradable substance but also allows for it to be fully recycled. Most recycling facilities that deal with plastics will actually be glad to take PEVA products off your hands.

recycling bins with recyclable materials
PEVA is biodegradable, and can be fully recycled!

Once you have no more need to effectively use a certain PEVA product, you can easily hand it over to a recycling facility which will have the item broken down and converted into parts which can be used to create a brand new product.

Aside from being very beneficial for the environment, PEVA is also a good choice when you want a long-lasting product as most PEVA products have an excellent lifespan and are known to be very durable.

Many PEVA textile producers are even developing specific products made for outdoor use these days as the durability of the material is even able to withstand outdoor weather.

If you are looking to buy a shower curtain or any other PEVA product and expect it to last you for a long time then you will be glad to know that Most PEVA products will last you for many years, possibly even a full decade or more.

An important point to note about PEVA products and why they would last you such a long time has to do with the fact that PEVA products are intentionally developed to remain free of any bug or insect infestation.

Your PEVA products will not attract any pests unlike most other plastic alternatives. Your shower curtains will also not catch any mold, and if your flooring is made from PEVA then that too will remain completely free of termites.

I would recommend contacting for all intents and purposes your local recycling facility after your PEVA product has lost its usefulness. This way you’ll know whether or not they basically take items made from PEVA, which is fairly significant.

Conclusion

Since PEVA is found in almost all homes, knowing about it is always a plus.

It’s always great to know what kind of materials you are being exposed to and how different it may be to substitute certain materials made from plastic vinyl with those made from PEVA.

I hope this guide has been helpful for you in making decisions based on PEVA products. Now you also know which items in your home contain PEVA.

Moreover, I hope this guide has helped clarify how much safer PEVA is than plastic vinyl due to it being one hundred percent recyclable and biodegradable.

If you enjoyed reading this article, then I would like to encourage you to give some of our other articles a read as well!

Thanks for stopping by and have a great day!

– Craig