Joe Schwarcz: No need to be wary about wash-and-wear


Some of you may find this surprising, but I don't mind ironing. Unlike giving a lecture, writing a column or appearing on TV or radio, you get immediate gratification. You see the results of your efforts. Wrinkles that were there before are gone. I suspect, however, that not everyone shares my enthusiasm for this task. The textile industry realizes this as well, and has responded by producing a variety of "durable press" fabrics that can withstand wrinkles. But withstanding allegations of toxicity is more of a challenge. In this case, the hullabaloo is about formaldehyde, the chemical used to fashion garments that can come straight out of the washing machine and sidestep the ironing board.

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