A Closer Look at Quaternary Ammonium Compounds
QACs are a popular ingredient in common household cleaning and disinfecting products despite the potential health dangers that come with them. Hypochlorous acid makes an excellent choice for safety, disinfecting power and savings.
Disinfectants and cleaning products play an important role in preventing the spread of serious infectious diseases. However, recent publications have linked these same popular products to the development of adverse health effects. What happens when the very things that should be keeping us safe are actually doing us harm?
Most household cleaners contain an ingredient known as “quaternary ammonium compounds” or QACs (1). These chemicals have biocidal properties that have been shown to cause serious health issues, but brands usually don’t clearly state when their product contains QACs. Instead they list specific ingredients which often end in “ammonium chloride”. So unless you know what ingredient to look out for, it can be difficult to know for sure if the products you use contain these chemicals.
Danger to Your Health
If you’ve ever used a disinfectant, then you’re probably aware about how minimal exposure can lead to irritation of the eyes, nose, throat or skin. However, studies have shown that continued use and prolonged exposure does have the potential to cause serious and preventable health effects, such as:
- Skin issues or contact dermatitis (2, 3)*
- Triggering pre-existing asthma or causing asthma (4)*
- Blindness (1)*
- Eye and mucous membrane injuries (5)*
- Oral and gastrointestinal injuries (5)*
Some studies have also suggested that QACs in cleaning products have been linked to infertility (6), endocrine disruptions (7), and even cancer (8).
Putting Children at Risk
However, nothing is more alarming than the danger these chemicals pose to children. An EPA-published guide stated how QACs pose a threat to the health and development of unborn fetuses and young children, with researchers estimating that 5% of childhood cancer and 30% of childhood asthma are related to chemical exposures (8).
Additionally, research by the CDC showed that QACs were implicated in over 32% of pesticide-related illnesses or injuries — such as eye, skin, or upper respiratory irritation — in school children (9). Just imagine the danger your child may face from constant exposure to such dangerous chemicals inside and outside of the home.
Some common disinfectants can sometimes lack in efficacy to eliminate viruses and bacteria. As a result, they can create higher-tolerance or antibiotic-resistant bacteria, making emerging strains even more difficult to destroy (10, 11). Even worse, these QACs release toxic chemical byproducts that can harm the environment (12), polluting soil, water, and air in the process.
The Cost of Cleanliness
We rely on these disinfectants to keep our homes clean and our families safe, but at what cost? We should not be made to choose between getting sick from infection or from toxic chemical exposure. We should not have to compromise with the health and safety of our loved ones.
This inspired top scientists and formulators in the country to develop a multipurpose disinfectant that not is only effective, but also eco-friendly and safe for the household.
The Safer and Cleaner Alternative
Sani-Powder is a break-through solution specially formulated to safely and effectively kill germs, bacteria, viruses, fungi, and other microorganisms that can cause infection, disease and illness – including Coronavirus. Sani-Powder is powered by hypochlorous acid which is considered a gentler and safer disinfectant option.
Hypochlorous acid (HOCl) is nature’s oldest disinfectant. This naturally-occurring substance is found in all mammals as part of their natural immune response to fight off infections (13). In the body, white blood cells seek out invasive pathogens like bacteria and viruses, and destroy them by producing hypochlorous acid (14).
Sani-Powder is a commercially produced HOCl that works exactly the same way. It is a powerful oxidizing agent that kills a vast spectrum of bacteria, viruses, spores, and other microorganisms (14), but without harmful chemicals, fumes or residues commonly associated with traditional disinfectants (15).
A clean home should never come before the safety of your family, and now you too can have both when you make the switch to Sani-Powder.
Mount Sinai Selikoff Centers for Occupational Health. 2015. Quaternary Ammonium Compounds in Cleaning Products: Health & Safety Information for Cleaners and Supervisors. Accessed Jun. 2021 at: https://med.nyu.edu/pophealth/sites/default/files/pophealth/QACs%20Info%20for%20Workers_18.pdf
Warshaw, EM, et al. 2007. Contact dermatitis of the hands: cross-sectional analyses of North American Contact Dermatitis Group Data, 1994-2004. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. 57(2): p. 301-314.
Perrenoud, D, et al. 1994. Frequency of sensitization to 13 common preservatives in Switzerland. Contact Dermatitis. 30(5): p. 276-9.
Rosenman, K. 2008. Disinfectants and Asthma. Project SENSOR. Accessed Jun. 2020 at: http://www.oem.msu.edu/userfiles/file/News/v20n1.pdf
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. 2006. Reregistration Eligibility Decision for Alkyl Dimethyl Benzyl Ammonium Chloride (ADBAC) accessed Jun. 2021 at: http://archive.epa.gov/pesticides/reregistration/web/pdf/adbac_red.pdf
Melin, V., et al. 2016. Quaternary ammonium disinfectants cause subfertility in mice by targeting both male and female reproductive processes. Reproductive Toxicology. 59: p. 159-166 accessed Jun. 2021 at: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0890623815300319
Hrubec, T.C. 2017. Ambient and Dosed Exposure to Quaternary Ammonium Disinfectants Causes Neural Tube Defects in Rodents. Birth Defects Research. 109(14) accessed Jun. 2021 at: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/bdr2.1064
University of California San Francisco School of Nursing’s Institute for Health & Aging. 2013. Green Cleaning, Sanitizing, and Disinfecting Toolkit for Early Care and Education. Accessed Jun. 2021 at: https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/documents/ece_curriculumfinal.pdf
Alarcon, W. A., et al. 2005. Acute illnesses associated with pesticide exposure at schools. JAMA. Accessed Jun. 2021 at: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16046652/
Bragg, R., et al. 2014. Bacterial Resistance to Quaternary Ammonium Compounds (QAC) Disinfectants. Advances in experimental medicine and biology, 808: p. 1-13. Accessed Jun. 2021 at: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24595606/
Mulder, I., et al. 2018. Quaternary ammonium compounds in soil: implications for antibiotic resistance development. Reviews in Environmental Science and Bio/Technology, 17: p. 159-185. Accessed Jun. 2021 at: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11157-017-9457-7
Grillitsch, B., et al. 2006. Environmental Risk Assessment for Quaternary Ammonium Compounds: A Case Study From Austria. Water science and technology: a journal on the International Association on Water Pollution Research, 54 (11-12): p. 111-118. Accessed Jun. 2021 at: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17302311/
Block, M.S. and Rowan, B.G. 2020. Hypochlorous Acid: A Review. Journal of Oral Maxillofacial Surgery. 78(9): p. 1461-1466. Accessed Jun. 2021 at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7315945/
Chant, J. (2020). What is Hypochlorous Acid? Accessed Jun. 2021 at: https://www.monarchchemicals.co.uk/Information/News-Events/764-/What-is-Hypochlorous-Acid
Recalde, M. (2019). Hypochlorous acid: harnessing nature’s germ killer. Accessed Jun. 2021 at: https://www.optometrytimes.com/view/hypochlorous-acid-harnessing-natures-germ-killer