What is PEVA? Is It Safe and What Is It Used In?

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Polyethylene vinyl acetate, commonly known as PEVA, is a material that serves as a viable alternative to PVC (polyvinyl chloride).

Its emergence in the marketplace caters to the growing demand for more environmentally friendly and health-conscious consumer products. Unlike PVC, PEVA is free from chlorine, a chemical element that can be harmful in various applications.

PEVA if often used in household items such as shower curtains, children’s toys, and even packaging due to its flexible and waterproof nature. PEVA is often sought after for its safer profile and lower environmental impact, making it a preferred choice for those looking to lessen their ecological footprint and ensure the safety of their loved ones.

Key Takeaways

  • PEVA (Polyethylene vinyl acetate) is a safer, chlorine-free alternative to PVC.
  • It is used in everyday items and is favored for its eco-friendliness.
  • It has most of the benefits of PVC and is considered a safer, more environmentally friendly alternative

What is PEVA?

PEVA (polyethylene vinyl acetate) is a non-chlorinated vinyl and is commonly used as a substitute for PVC(polyvinyl chloride) – which is a type of chlorinated vinyl.

This material is seen to be a less toxic version of vinyl due to the fact that it is non-chlorinated (contains no chloride).

So, products manufactured from PEVA is considered to be a healthier alternative to PVC products.

Understanding PEVA Uses in Plastic Products

PEVA is used in numerous household items such as:

  • Shower curtains
  • Toys
  • Shoes
  • Cosmetic bags
  • Baby bibs
  • Plastic table coverings
  • Car covers
  • Mattress protectors
  • Electric Heaters

The Safety of PEVA as a Material in Consumer Goods

ethylene vinyl acetate testing

This is where the subject gets a little complicated. If you look at what we know about this type of vinyl now, it can certainly be viewed as a less-toxic alternative to PVC.

While this may give you peace of mind when purchasing a product that contains polyethylene vinyl acetate, you should be aware that it still contains other chemicals that may be dangerous to human health. Some studies suggest that PEVA is, in fact, toxic to some living organisms.

The main reason why it is impossible to make a definitive statement on this question is that many of the chemicals are contained in this petrochemical product are yet to be properly tested for adverse affects to human health.

What we do know is that this material is free from phthalates, which “may increase children’s cancer risk” 

So, while little is known about ethylene vinyl acetate toxicity, the evidence shows that PEVA is a less harmful material than PVC.

Our advice regarding products containing PEVA is to use them cautiously. It is always good practice to be aware of what your products are made of and what adverse effects these materials may have on your health.

Is PEVA safe for babies?

PEVA has gained popularity in baby products such as bibs and bath toys. Its safety stems from the absence of chlorine and other toxic chemicals typically associated with PVC.

This characteristic reduces potential health risks and makes PEVA a preferred choice for items in close contact with infants.

Nevertheless, to ensure maximum safety, you should always opt for baby products that explicitly state they are free from BPA, phthalates, and lead.

Are PEVA shower curtains safe?

Shower curtains made from PEVA have raised questions about their implications for health within the household environment.

They offer a less-toxic alternative to traditional PVC curtains, as PEVA material releases fewer volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

Homeowners seeking a safer alternative to PVC can choose PEVA shower curtains. However, it is important to do your research and decide whether to use a PEVA shower curtain.

PEVA vs PVC: Identifying the Safer Plastic Alternative

Polyvinyl chloride, commonly known as PVC, is a widely used plastic. It can be found in a variety of products, such as pipes, window frames, and medical equipment.

However, PVC contains phthalates—additives that increase plastic flexibility—which have raised health and environmental concerns due to their potential toxicity.

PEVA (polyethylene vinyl acetate) is a non-chlorinated vinyl and is considered a safer alternative to PVC. Phthalates are absent from PEVA, which makes it less toxic and a better choice for applications like shower curtains, tablecloths, and baby bibs.

ToxicityContains phthalates, which are toxicPhthalate-free and considered safer
UsePipes, medical equipment, window framesShower curtains, tablecloths
RecyclabilityDifficult to recycle and can release toxinsEasier to recycle and less harmful to the environment

If you are concerned about health and the environment, PEVA is likely preferable. It has similar benefits for products without the associated risks that come with PVC.

When choosing plastics for personal use or manufacturing, considering PEVA over PVC can be a step towards safer and more sustainable practices.

Environmental Impact and Sustainability

PEVA, is a non-chlorinated vinyl. This material is often marketed as an eco-friendly version of PVC (polyvinyl chloride) due to its lack of chlorine—a substance associated with environmental harm in PVC production and disposal.

The production of PEVA is less toxic compared to that of PVC, as it does not release dioxins. These harmful chemicals can be produced during the creation or incineration of PVC. Being free of these chemicals, PEVA is considered a safer alternative for both consumers and the environment. However, it is still a plastic and carries some environmental impact.

While PEVA is more sustainable than some conventional plastics, its environmental friendliness is relative. Its production does involve the use of oil—a non-renewable resource—and it is not usually biodegradable.

PEVA is a highly recyclable plastic, and some modern plastic recycling facilities will be able to handle PEVA products. You will want to call ahead though, as some recycling facilities do not accept soft plastics of any kind.

Once the PEVA products usefulness is over, contact your local recycling facility to find out if they take items made from PEVA.

Consumer Awareness and Understanding Product Labeling

Products that contain polyethylene vinyl acetate instead of PVC will generally advertise the fact, due to it being marketed as a less toxic alternative.

If the product you are considering contains vinyl, but there is no mention of PEVA, then it is highly likely that it is manufactured from PVC instead and should be avoided if possible.

There is no specific law that requires products containing PEVA to be labeled as such, unless the manufacturer wants to claim the biodegradability or environmental friendliness of the product. In that case, the manufacturer must follow the guidelines and standards set by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to avoid deceptive or misleading advertising.

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Aaron is the founder of and Essential Home and Garden. With over 15 years of hands-on experience in home ownership, lawn care, and gardening, Aaron is a seasoned expert in areas like lawn care, DIY, HVAC, and pest control.

32 thoughts on “What is PEVA? Is It Safe and What Is It Used In?”

  1. Avatar photo

    Hi Aaron,

    Lately people use the PEVA bags for meals preparing and freeze them.

    What is your opinion for that? Is it safe to use???



    • Aaron Green

      In my opinion, I would be happy to use PEVA bags for food storage and freezing, but not in high-heat situations. So I wouldn’t use them as sous vide bags or anything like that.

  2. Avatar photo

    Hello, curious on your thoughts on all the vinyl wall decals that are out. I am considering having my sister make some for my kids rooms with her cricut machine, and now im not sure. Can you help?

    • Aaron Green

      Unless your kids are likely to spend a lot of time licking them, then I wouldn’t worry too much…

  3. Avatar photo

    What can be used to remove the adhesive residue from the label on a PEVA covered suitcase?

    • Aaron Green

      Some rubbing(isopropyl) alcohol should do the trick!

    • Avatar photo

      Late to the comments but a couple drops of Lemon oil takes labels right off. And by right off i mean, rub it in a little, let it sit 2-3 minutes THEN it’ll peel right off.

      (Pro home organizer here)

  4. Avatar photo

    Hi Aaron Green,

    I’m considering buying a play mat for my 5-month little boy. Both of the product Plufsig and Passbit from IKEA shop are made from PEVA and polyethylene foam. Would it be safe if I use them as a play mat for baby? Thank you.

    • Aaron Green

      It’s really up to you to decide. It depends on what you are comfortable with – there are many unknowns with these sorts of materials. But personally, I would be ok with my kids using those products.

  5. Avatar photo

    Can you glue PEVA?

    • Aaron Green

      Depends on what the product is, but generally yes you can. Amazing Goop does a good job – available from Amazon here.

  6. Avatar photo

    How does PEVA compare to BPA, BPS, BPF used to make water hydration bladders in backpacks? So many claims, I just want something that won’t harm me or my kids while we hike. Thanks

  7. Avatar photo

    Hi there! I found Peva material reusable ziplock bags for our food in my effort to find as many plastics substitutes as possible in our kitchen, but there’s no information on the internet as to if it leeches chemicals into food or not. Do you know if it does? Or can you suggest a resource that might reveal that info? Thank you!

    • Aaron Green

      Hi Maria, It is up to you to work out the risks. These things are always subject to new studies – some show its looks safe, others show otherwise. If you want to be 100% sure that there will be no harmful effects then you might be better off going for something else.

    • Avatar photo

      I use reusable silicon food storage bags – they are guaranteed nontoxic. I have had to do a lot of research to find non toxic food storage (for freezer etc) and silicon is the only nontoxic material I have found. Also the silicon can survive cooking temperatures as well.

  8. Avatar photo

    Hello, I would like to know if PEVA is protective agains UV radiation for a baby stroller cover.

    • Aaron Green

      It depends on the type of material (opaque, transparent) it is being made into. You would need to check the manufacturers specs.

  9. Avatar photo

    Hi there. Would you consider safe the use of PEVA in the lining of a cooler?
    Thank you very much!

    • Aaron Green

      I wouldn’t hesitate to do it myself – but you should make your own educated decision.

  10. Avatar photo

    If it is biodegradable will it degrade if used for a bicycle cover over the winter. It is a purpose made one?

    • Aaron Green

      No, it won;t degrade that quick. Being biodegradable means that living organisms can break it down eventually.

  11. Avatar photo

    hi where is the factory of these fabrics in Europe

    • Aaron Green

      That I am not sure sorry. You might have to do some googling to find that out.

  12. Avatar photo

    Kindly let us know the pricing of curtain shower with the composition of the PEVA (Polyethylene vinyl acetate.

    • Aaron Green

      Hi Elaine, we don’t actually sell curtains – but there is a wide range available on Amazon here.

    • Avatar photo

      Dollar tree has for $.
      Not $2 ones.

  13. Avatar photo

    Hi! Wanted to ask how to dispose of this properly. Will products made of PEVA biodegrade or is it just like plastic? Asking because I found PEVA ziplock bags and I’m wondering if it’s a more ecofriendly choice. Thanks!

    • Aaron Green

      Hi Regine, PEVA is considered to be biodegradable and is also recyclable.

  14. Avatar photo

    i am considering buying a tablecloth for our outdoor table. What material would be the best to buy that is less TOXIC – PEVA or PVC.
    Thank you

    • Aaron Green

      Hi Lynda,

      PEVA is certainly considered to be a safer alternative to PVC.

  15. Avatar photo

    My daughter is allergic to vinyl. Would contact with a PEVA shower curtain be a problem?

    • Aaron Green

      Hi Ellie, this is really something you need to ask a doctor. From what I have read, vinyl allergies can be caused by one or many of the different chemicals used to create the product. So without knowing exactly which chemical is responsible for your daughters allergy, it is hard to give a recommendation. Depending on the severity of her allergy, you could always try it and see what happens? But I still suggest you speak to your doctor about this to make sure. – Aaron

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