3. Quaternary Ammonium Compounds
Also known as quats, quaternary ammonium compounds are most commonly found in disinfectant chemicals. Sprays, wipes, and other cleaning products that are antibacterial and designed to kill germs contain quaternary ammonium compounds. Cleaning products that claim to be antibacterial are certified by the Environmental Protection Agency as pesticides.
For everyday household cleaning, quaternary ammonium compounds are completely unnecessary. Quats are strong enough to kill Staphylococcus bacteria and E. Coli. This much sterilization power is not needed in most homes. Studies show that cleaners that include quaternary ammonium compounds don’t eliminate germs any better than soap and water. These toxins irritate the lungs and cause asthma as well as skin problems. Quaternary ammonium compounds have also been known to affect fertility in both men and women. To avoid bringing quats into your home, don’t buy cleaning products that are advertised as antibacterial.