When I left for work this morning I opened up a new shower curtain liner for the first time. Being a vinyl material I knew it would have a strong odor and was hoping it would do some major airing out/off-gassing while I was gone. However, when I opened it I was blown away with the extremely strong gasoline smell. I mean, strong enough that I started speeding up my morning routine to get out of there as fast as I could.
Tonight, it's the same; it smells exactly as if I was standing next to the unleaded pump filling up my car. I can't imagine using it tomorrow in a hot shower. I am sure my sinuses and my head would be messed up for the day.
This particular product is the Heavyweight Anti-Mildew vinyl shower curtain liner from Target's home collection(#3064 08 0694). The smell is mentioned in all the product reviews on the site. In fact, this one describes it exactly as I would:
"While indeed the weight of this liner is one of the heaviest I have found, it has an AWFUL Odor. Not the typical, gone in an hour "vinyl" shower curtain liner most of us have experienced type odor, but a very strong, petroleum/diesel fuel odor. It gave me a horrible headache, and is so bad that I had to close the door to my bathroom and run the exhaust fan and an air purifier. I even tried washing the liner in the washing machine with a little white vinegar. All that did was instantly rust the "rust proof" grommets, and the smell is only slightly less three days later. It is still all I can smell when in the shower. It really makes the product unusable."
I'm glad I wrote this AND read that review because I just walked over to it and realized I don't even want to touch it because of the smell. Therefore, I'm going to package it back up, wash my hands again, and take it back to the store. I hope they'll let me exchange it for their ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) PVC-free ones, despite the $6 difference. If they try to give me a hard time, I'll just make them smell it! That smell CAN NOT not be good for your health!