In an article published August 13, 2014 on the online news platform Environmental Health News, staff writer Lindsey Konkel reports on a study investigating the reproductive toxicity of a commonly used disinfectant. The researchers from Virginia Tech and Washington State University, both U.S., dosed mouse breeding pairs with two quaternary ammonium compounds (QACs) commonly used in cleaners in hospitals, restaurants and food processing plants. The administration of a mixture of alkyl dimethyl benzyl ammonium chloride (ADBAC; CAS 68424-85-1) and didecyl dimethyl ammonium chloride (DDAC; CAS 7173-51-5) resulted in increased time to first litter, fewer pups per litter, more spontaneous abortions, fetal distress and increased deaths during pregnancy. Both chemicals are under review for the authorization as biocides for the food and feed area of the European Biocidal Product Regulation. The scientists designed the study after breeding problems had been observed at both facilities. The two labs had changed the disinfectant products to ADBAC/DDAC before the breeding problems occurred.

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Lindsey Konkel (August 13, 2014). “Quats quagmire: Common disinfectants cause reproductive problems in mice, study says.Environmental Health News


Melin, V.E. et al. (2014). “Exposure to common quaternary ammonium disinfectants decreases fertility in mice.” Reproductive Toxicology 50:163-170.