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Chemical disinfectants linked to transgenerational birth defects

In a new study published by Wiley Periodicals and led Terry Hrubec and Patricia Hunt, quaternary ammonium compounds, or quats (found in many common chemical disinfectants) were found to cause birth defects among multiple other health problems in animals whether from inhalation or ingestion.

"Quats are widely used in cleaning, disinfection, laundry and personal care products as antimicrobial and fabric-softening agents, or preservatives. They have been classified as asthmagens, capable of causing asthma or worsening existing asthma, and as severe skin and eye irritants. According to EWG’s Guide to Healthy Cleaning, the quats evaluated in both studies – alkyl dimethyl benzyl ammonium chloride and didecyl dimethyl ammonium chloride – were found in more than 170 products. This is a conservative estimate given that many manufacturers may not list these ingredients at all."

- Samara Geller, Database & Research Analyst for EWG

These defects not only afflicted the children of the exposed animals, but had transgenerational effects, defects which persist through subsequent generations which were never exposed to the chemicals.

These findings add to the growing mountain of evidence that chemical exposure has disastrous effects on our health.

Check out EWG's full article on this study here.

Read the study itself here.