In the past century, technological advances have made our lives more comfortable than ever.
And while those improvements are significant for comfort levels, they come with substantial risk.
Recently researchers linked ingredients in everyday cleaning products, one you likely use, with incredibly dangerous conditions.
Conditions that could actually affect the future of humanity and could harm a person in such a way they could never fully recover.
Perhaps the most alarming aspect of what you’re about to learn is how even though this research exists, and confirms the existence of hazards to human health, the companies who make these products aren’t halting production anytime soon.
Quats and the Risk They Pose to Human Health
Chances are you’ve never heard of quats before.
Most Americans haven’t, despite using them daily.
Quats, which is short for a chain of chemicals called “quaternary ammonium compounds,” are found in a large class of commercially available products; these include dryer sheets, various forms of laundry detergent, household cleaning supplies and more.
Quats are great for disinfecting as well as preventing static build up in clothing, and while the antimicrobial and anti-static properties are useful from general household use, the unintended side effects quats may produce is frightening.
A recent study by Terry Hrubec, which was published in the journal, Birth Defects Research, reviews how much damage these ingredients can cause.
Hrubec, who serves as an associate professor of anatomy at the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine, was interested to see how two popular quats, alkyldimethylbenzyl ammonium chloride (ADBAC) and didecyldimethyl ammonium chloride (DDAC), affected the development of fetuses.
While it would have been impossible to study how DDAC and ADBAC affected fetal development in humans, they were able to expose mice to these chemicals to determine their potential for harm.
In this novel experiment, Hrubec’s team exposed mice in a variety of different group formations to these chemicals.
These groups included pregnant mice, female mice that were to breed soon and become pregnant soon as well as male mice who were set to breed with females who were not exposed to the quats.
They exposed the groups to quats by putting it in their food, water as well as putting it into the atmosphere. This helped mimic how many people are exposed to this class of cleaners on a daily basis.
Hrubec’s team administered anywhere from 60 or 120 milligrams of the substances per kilogram of body weight (mg/kg), daily via food samples. Then they gave them samples that were approximately 7.5, 15, or 30 mg/kg of body weight, administered by oral gavage – a precise method of oral dosing commonly used in rodent studies.
Lastly, to replicate how humans are exposed to quats in the environment the researchers sprayed quats into the air and let them come into contact with the chemicals via inhalation and direct skin contact.
Finally, the rodents were also exposed to the quats ambiently, as the disinfectant was used in their room.
To assess if the developing embryos were damaged in any way, Hrubec’s team analyzed them for “gross and skeletal malformations” 10 days into pregnancy and 18 days into pregnancy.
What they found and how it was related to human fetal development was disheartening.
Major Damage From Quats Exposure
Keep in mind the chemicals Hrubec and colleagues exposed pregnant mice to are not industrial cleaners. These are chemicals most Americans use daily.
The researchers discovered that just a short amount of time is all it took for the quats to harm neural tube formation (NTD) in the mice. NTD damage is associated with severe birth defects that can wreak havoc on the life of a person.
As Ana Sandoiu wrote:
“NTDs are birth defects that take place in the first month of pregnancy, affecting the brain, spine, or spinal cord of the fetus.
Significantly, exposing the males to the chemical-laden atmosphere in the room alone was enough to cause reproductive defects. In fact, ambient exposure to the chemical had a larger influence on NTDs than oral dosing.”
Even more remarkable, and perhaps even more frightening, is that these birth defects were detected when both the mother and the father were exposed to quats.
Hrubec concluded in his paper that:
“Birth defects were seen when both males and females were exposed, as well as when only one parent was exposed […],” says Hrubec.
“The fact that birth defects could be seen when only the father was exposed means that we need to expand our scope of prenatal care to include the father […]. We also observed increased birth defects in rodents for two generations after stopping exposure.”
What should that tell you?
Well, the obvious conclusion is it’s wise to use all-natural cleaning products in the home.
There’s no real reason to use products with quats in them as there are a plethora of other options available.
These include products using plant-based essential oils as well as simple cleaning solutions like white vinegar or hydrogen peroxide.
Whatever you do, don’t feel like you have to buy what’s on the store shelves.