• British World War 1 soldiers in a front line trench, 1915-18

    Calcium hypochlorite

    10 May 2018

    A component of 'trench atmosphere' and ‘the most powerful antiseptic known’, Mike Freemantle explores calcium hypochlorite and the birth of a chemical dynasty

  • Woman with acne

    Benzoyl peroxide

    16 November 2016

    The blondest blonde, the whitest smile, the clearest complexion – all from one essential compound

  • A violin

    Sodium hypochlorite

    9 March 2016

    What do hygienic work surfaces have in common with 19th century French violins? Brian Clegg finds out.