Investigation of Benzotriazole Using HPLC
Improved techniques in analytical chemistry have enabled the detection of trace levels of chemicals in the environment, especially synthetic compounds. When released into the environment, synthetic compounds such as pharmaceuticals and pesticides have the ability to make their way into rivers, drinking water, and even the human body. Many of these substances can bioaccumulate within an organism, sometimes having a toxic result. Once in the environment, many chemicals degrade or biotransform, but some such as DDT are persistent. The significance of trace levels of a chemical must be evaluated in order to assess its risk to humans and other organisms. Benzotriazole (BT) is an organic compound with a variety of applications in industrial and household settings. This study seeks to explore one possible source of trace levels of BT, the automatic dishwasher. BT is commonly added to dishwasher detergent as an aid in silver protection. The question investigated here is how much BT a person may ingest if the chemical remains on a dish instead of being carried away by the rinse water. Three dishwasher detergents were analyzed using High-Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) to determine the amount of possible BT remaining on a dish after cleaning.