What is PEVA? Is It Safe And What Is It In?

PEVA is a non-chlorinated vinyl that is often used a direct substitute for PVC. PEVA is in many common household items, and it is for this reason that you should educate yourself on how safe it is, and what products in your home may be made from PEVA.

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what is peva

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. PVC is a known carcinogen and should generally be avoided where possible.

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.

PEVA 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

Is PEVA Safe?

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.

So while this may give you some peace of mind when purchasing a product that contains polyethylene vinyl acetate, you need to be aware that it still contains other chemicals that may be dangerous to human health. There are some studies that 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 are “reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen” 

So while little is known about ethylene vinyl acetate toxicity, from the evidence available it does look like PEVA is a less harmful material than PVC.

Our advice regarding products that contain PEVA at the moment is to use them with caution. It is always good practice to be aware of what your products are made of and what adverse affects these materials may have on your health.

Is PEVA safe for babies?

While PEVA is considered to be a less harmful vinyl than PVC, it is probably wise to limit your babies exposure to either of these materials where possible.

There are a lot of unknowns associated with chemicals involved in the manufacturing process of PEVA and babies tend to put everything in their mouth.

In saying this though, if the choice were between a PVC item or a PEVA item – then the PEVA item would be preferable.

So do be mindful when using products made from any sort of vinyl around babies.

Are PEVA shower curtains safe?

Polyethylene vinyl acetate is considered to be a safe material for shower curtains. Because it is made without chloride, it has no off-gassing like PVC shower curtains do. PEVA shower curtains are waterproof and affordable and I wouldn’t hesitate to use them at my own home at all.

Read our full guide on non toxic shower curtains.

Our recommended shower curtain is the Dareios PEVA shower curtain.

How do I know if a product contains PVC or PEVA?

Products that contain polyethylene vinyl acetate instead of PVC will generally advertise the fact, due to it being 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.

Is PEVA biodegradable?

This is a somewhat contentious question. Some sources say PEVA is biodegradable, while others will say it is certainly NOT biodegradable.

For this reason, I cannot give a definitive answer here.

Is Peva Recyclable?

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.

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Aaron Green
Aaron is the founder of and Essential Home and Garden. He likes to spend his spare time with his family, and doing DIY projects in the home and garden.

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

  1. 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???



    • 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. 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?

  3. 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.

    • 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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!

    • 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.

    • 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.

  6. 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!

  7. Hi
    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

    • 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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