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US scientists are concerned that harmful disinfectant chemicals have been overused since the pandemic.

They are used to clean school desks, hospital examination tables, or everyday at home: disinfectant chemicals have been used indiscriminately since the Covid-19 pandemic. But they are not (all) without risk… Twenty American scientists publish their concern about these antimicrobial products that are bad for the environment and health in the journal Environmental Science & Technology.

Avoid products containing QACs

In these products is a molecule that is of particular concern to researchers: ammonium chloride, or quaternary ammonium compounds (QACs). Since the 1950s, we have known that these antiseptic substances play a role in the resistance of microbes to antibiotics. Moreover, the scientific literature notes that humans are increasingly exposed to it, and points the finger at them in parallel to the risks they represent for breathing (they are involved in asthma), in cases of dermatitis, or in gynecological problems (particularly infertility).

Scientists are concerned that these products, which have been (and still are) a weapon of choice against Covid-19, will cause another health crisis, due to their side effects. When we could simply clean the surfaces of the house, or even the school, with water and soap, just as effectively and without unnecessary exposure to products that are highly harmful to health and the environment. They note in particular their toxicity towards marine organisms. A piece of advice, therefore, according to their alert: avoid products containing CAQs and favor more natural solutions.

Source: Environmental Science & Technology

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