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Would a plastic item that melted in your dishwasher spread harmful toxins throughout the dishwasher making everything in the dishwasher unsafe to use again?

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Melting plasticNo harmful toxins, but probably a bad taste. It wouldn't hurt to run the load again.
Well I do not agree entirely, depending how bad the plastic was melted and what KIND of plastic it was originally, you could definitely have some toxin. But I do agree on running the load again...
This detailed answer was placed on the discussion page by user "Chris Plastic" (see link to profile on discussion page):

A plastic item placed in a dish-washer would normally be intended for food contact use. If the material was a thermoplastic (e.g., polypropylene), reheating to viscous fluid and then cooling to solid does not usually result in significant breakdown. Such plastics can usually be dishwashed without problem. Thermoset materials are often regarded as plastics (e.g., Melamine). They would tend to eventually breakdown into smaller particles, ultimately into powder, rather than remelting. They can have good dishwasher stability.That food-contact plastic would be normally approved by the US FDA (Food and Drug Administration) possibly for repeat use. They would screen plastics for the impact of chemicals which could migrate out of them. I doubt if dishwashing tests are specifically conducted, but sensitive tests are conducted to determine the nature of these migrating chemicals and their concentration. The likely toxicity would then be assessed. These tests would dictate whether or not FDA approval is granted.Harmful toxins are unlikely to be released. Anything migrating from the plastic would be expected to be flushed away along with the grease, etc., washed from the other items.Materials like polymethylmethacrylate (acrylic, e.g., Plexiglas) and polycarbonate (e.g., Lexan) can both crack and craze especially if items are packed tightly in a dishwasher. However, this is not linked to your comments about toxicity.
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