“Quats” (Ammonium Quaternary Compounds) are ammonium salts that are listed as pesticides with the EPA. They are also listed on many disinfectant products such as:
- disinfectant sprays
- toilet bowl cleaners
- antibacterial soaps
- dishwashing liquid
- floor products
- window cleaners
- “all-purpose” cleaners
- baby care products
- air fresheners
- disinfectant wipes
In these products, they are listed as “active ingredients”. Products that list quats as an ingredient are found everywhere from homes, workplaces and many public spaces.
For many years quats were considered safe but now they are cause for concern. After being investigated more diligently it turns out that certain quats such as Quaternium-15 may release formaldehyde! Formaldehyde is a colorless chemical used in a variety of consumer products such as plywood, particle board and paneling. After extended exposure people may experience chest pain, cancer, and increases the risk of asthma and allergies.
Quats can be very irritating to the skin. Skin rashes, difficulty breathing, asthma, and decreased lung function are likely to develop after continuous exposure.
To avoid Quats, read labels, and stay away from the following:
- 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
No wonder cancer diagnosis, respiratory issues and many more cases of illness are rising at an alarming rate these days. People are thought to believe that they are making their world cleaner by using these disinfecting products, but they are slowly killing themselves with overexposure.
Reducing exposure to this ingredient is the only way to limit the side effects of coming in contact with quats. Read the label of all cleaning products before putting yourself, friends, family and clients at risk!
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