Benzalkonium Chloride


Use Restriction

Facts about this ingredient

  • Quaternary ammonium chlorides are widely used as sanitizing agents in industrial food processing as well as general institutional cleaning. In the last twenty years, "quats" have been increasingly added to household cleaning chemicals. Benzalkonium chloride (BAC) and related compounds are the most frequently used quats in household cleaners. Quats are well-documented as occupational asthmagens in institutional cleaning settings. Rates of asthma are also increasing among children exposed to high levels of household cleaners in utero and immediately after birth. Emerging data suggest that quats also act as sensitize the immune system to other potential allergens. Early data in lab mice further suggest that quats can cause birth defects and fertility issues. G. D. Nielsen et al. Do indoor chemicals promote development of airway allergy? Indoor Air 2007; 17: 236255; V. van Kampen, PhD, R. Merget, MD, and X. Baur, MD Occupational Airway Sensitizers: An Overview on The Respective Literature American Journal of Industrial Medicine 38:164-218 (2000); A.Sheriff, et al. Frequent use of chemical household products is associated with persistent wheezing in pre-school age children Thorax (2005) 60:40-45; L. Preller et al. Disinfectant use as a risk factor for atopic sensitization and symptoms consistent with asthma: an epidemiological study Eur Respir J, 1996, 9, 14071413; NATURE Vol 453,19 June 2008 Lab disinfectant harms mouse fertility

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