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Question from Marjorie

Hi Debra,

Have there been any safer dishwashers on the market? We’ve gone w/out one for over 2 years now, but really miss it.

Also, if the choice comes down to PVC (Part of interior not the whole thing) or the newer bitumen ones which is safer? Thanks.

Debra’s Answer

I haven’t researched dishwashers lately because I don’t use one. I wash all my dishes by hand.

So bitumen vs PVC…

Geez. It’s asphalt (used to surface roads and to seal flat roofs) vs carcinogenic plastic.

I read that many brands now use bitumen coating for insulation.The writer says this is basically Dynamat type asphalt matting and many brands give off a tar smell when hot. For the first 10 washes there has been a detectable tar smell, and I would add, toxic tar fumes.

We’ve discussed this before in Q&A: Chemical Smell in New Boesch Dishwasher. That smell appears to be bitumen.

What needs to be done is each dishwasher on the market needs to be checked for PVC and bitumen. This is not something I can do without funding. But if any of you want to help compile this list, just send whatever data you find as a comment to this post and I will publish it.

Here are a couple of articles about dishwashers that might be helpful.

THE SOFT LANDING: How to Choose a Nontoxic Dishwasher

PEDIATRICS: Allergy in Children in Hand Versus Machine Dishwashing

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