Put down that bottle of disinfectant! Have you looked to see if it contains quaternary ammonium compounds (QAC) or “quats” yet? Well, you should find out because new studies are pointing to some human health concerns with use of “quats” in cleaning products. You’re trusted Mamavation to bring you topics like best disinfectants, best & worst air purifiers, & best & worst cookware, now join us for the results from a concerning study on “quats” or quaternary ammonium compounds and their potential effect on humans. And stick around for our recommendations on better brands.
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Quaternary Ammonium Compounds or “Quats” Can Potentially Harm Reproduction & the Immune System Says Researchers
A study recently reported in Toxicology Reports found that Quaternary Ammonium Compounds (QACs) or “quats” found in common disinfectants are not only found in human blood samples but are linked to inflammatory markers in a dose-dependent manner.
So the question was first, do Americans have “Quats” in their bloodstream and if so, are they suffering from any markers markers of inflammation, mitochondrial function, and cholesterol synthesis. The answer to both were enough to merit the sounding of an alarm even thought it was a small study of only 43 human volunteers.
This is the first study to measure QACs in human blood, and also the first to demonstrate statistically significant relationships between blood QAC and meaningful health-related biomarkers.
- QAC concentrations were detected in 80 % of study participants (out of 43 volunteers)
- Of the 80% that had positive results for “quats” in their blood, markers of inflammation, mitochondrial function, and sterol homeostasis varied with blood QAC concentration levels
- Becasue cell-based studies indicate increased inflammation, decreased mitochondrial function, and disruption of cholesterol synthesis could be an issue, researchers focused on those markers.
- Blood QACs were associated with an increase in inflammatory cytokines, decreased mitochondrial function, and disruption of cholesterol homeostasis in a dose-dependent manner
None of these studies were done on humans, however, if these findings translate to human toxicity, multiple physiological processes could be affected. Researchers are sounding the alarm and asking for more study to be done in this area to protect the public.
Quat Disinfectants Have Always Been Problematic But Considered “Low Toxicity” Until Now
QACs are commonly found in medical settings, restaurants, and homes as cleaners and disinfectants used daily. Despite them being as popular and prevalent as they are in our homes, no one has bothered to understand the human health effects associated with chronic low-level exposure of these chemicals on our families. However, lots has been discovered thus far:
- exposure at high levels can cause asthma, contact dermatitis, ocular inflammation, and hypersensitivity
- Accidental overdoses from ingestion have resulted in human deaths in France and other places
- Mixtures of BAC and DDAC were not evaluated by the Environmental Protection Agency, and few toxicological endpoints other than changes in rodent body weight were tested
- No human studies have evaluated the extent, magnitude, and systemic response of exposure and how that would impact health
In-Vitro Studies on Human and Mouse Cell Lines & “Quats” Have Had Concerning Outcomes
According to the studies already done on “Quats” on human and mouse cells, we have some cause to be concerned.
- QACs increase inflammation, disrupt mitochondrial function, alter estrogen signaling, and inhibit cholesterol synthesis
- In mice, they looked at the normal use of a disinfectant containing a mixture of BAC and DDAC. they found the vivarium inhibited reproduction, caused birth defects, decreased fertility, and altered immune function
- With gestational exposure, BACs have the ability to cross the placenta to alter cholesterol and lipid homeostasis in mouse neonatal brains
What Ingredients to Look For on the Label
To avoid “quats,” you’ll need to start reading ingredient labels and avoid the following ingredients:
- Benzalkonium chloride
- Cetalkonium chloride
- Cetrimonium chloride
- Lauryl dimonium hydrolysed collagen
- Stearalkonium chloride
- Diethyl ester dimethyl ammonium chloride
- Dialkyl dimethl ammonium methyl sulfate
- Hydroxethyl methyl ammonium methyl sulfate
- Chemical DTDMAC (ditallow dimethyl ammonium chloride); also called quaternium-18
- Quaternium-26 and other numbers
Products Inside Your Home Containing “Quats” & Better Options For Your Family
Quats are used in a wide variety of products inside the home. Mamavation has covered most of these product categories and found products that do not contain “Quats.” The following is a list of places you can find “quats” and most of them we have already done product investigations for you.
- hair conditioners
- Soap & Body Wash
- bubble bath
- liquid hand soap
- shaving cream
- styling gel/cream
- styling mousse
- baby wipes
- acne treatments
The Totality of Concerning Ingredients Inside Disinfectants To Avoid As Much as Possible
Here is a simple list of chemicals to avoid when purchasing all-purpose cleaning products. They range in toxicity from very toxic to just an irritant.
- Methylchloroisothiazolinone and Methylisothiazolinone
- SLS/SLES: Sodium Laureth Sulfate and Sodium Lauryl Sulfate
- Undisclosed Fragrance/Perfume
- Ethylene Glycol
- Ethoxylated Compounds
- Sodium Dodecylbenzenesulfonate
- Methyl Alcohol
- Butylphenyl Methylpropional
- Benzyl Salicylate
- Alkyl Dimethyl Benzyl Ammonium Chlorides
- Copper Sulfate Pentahydrate
- Artificial Dyes
Mamavation Recommends Products On Both EPA & Mamavation Best Lists!!
Mamavation started looking for disinfectants that were strong enough to battle and kill germs on contact, but were safe enough to use around pregnant women and babies. In order to do this, we look through our disinfectant investigation and compared it to the EPA list of products that were approved. We found two that we are ready to recommend for your family and easy to purchase online.
Best All-Purpose Cleaners
Mamavation went through the official EPA list of coronavirus-friendly products and only ONE TYPE OF CLEANER passed both our specifications and theirs for safe cleaners. Both of these products contain hypochlorous acid, which is just as effective as bleach in killing germs, but safe to be around, especially for small children and pregnant women.
- Clean Republic (referred to as “Excelyte Vet” on the EPA database)
- Force of Nature (get 40% off plus free shipping on bundles–use the discount code “MAMAVATION” at checkout. If you want a starter kit use “MAMAVATION30” for 30% off a starter kit.)
More on Force of Nature System
Force of Nature is not a cleaning solution you can purchase. It’s a cleaning system that enables you to make your own formulation on your kitchen counter.
It combines three simple ingredients and then electrocutes those ingredients within the machine to create a safe and effective cleaning solution that is just as powerful as bleach without all the toxicity that comes with it.
Those ingredients are water, salt, and vinegar. That’s it. Watch the video below to see how the machine transforms simple ingredients from your kitchen into a powerful cleaning solution that is safe for the entire family.
Click here to discover more about Force of Nature and get 40% off plus free shipping on bundles–use the discount code “MAMAVATION” at checkout. If you want a starter kit use “MAMAVATION30” for 30% off a starter kit.
Additional Cleaner that Made Our “Better” List Also Making EPAs List
This brand made our better list and also made the EPA list for safe cleaners. Because they use methylisothiazolinone, we do not recommend it on our “best” list, but maybe easier to access if you are at a grocery store.
- Seventh Generation All-Purpose Cleaner, Free & Clear: Contains Methylisothiazolinone
- Seventh Generation Disinfecting Wipes: Contains Methylisothiazolinone