Engineering Innovation Podcast and Radio Series

Dishwashing Danger?

PostedApril 15, 2005

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New research suggests that warm chlorinated water mixed with triclosan—the active ingredient in antimicrobial soaps—produces chloroform in seconds.  That's the chemical you've seen knocking people out in the movies, and Peter Vikesland, a Virginia Tech environmental engineer, says his tests show simple hand washing of dishes could expose your lungs and skin to worrisome amounts.  D.C.'s tap water now uses a mixture of chlorine and ammonia that prevents such chemical reactions.  But it's believed that switch from straight chlorine in the year 2000 is also responsible for lead recently leaching from pipes.  With the National Academy of Engineering, Randy Atkins, WTOP Radio.