"Ordinary cleaning compounds—used in ordinary amounts—create long-lasting risks of spinal and brain defects in a lab study".
Common cleaners used in homes, hotels and hospitals cause birth defects in fetuses, according to a new study of mice.
In some cases just being in the same room with the chemicals was enough to increase birth defects in the mice. The scientists involved say they can’t draw any conclusions for exposed humans but “animal studies are the gold standard for predicting human health effects,” said Terry Hrubec, professor and researcher at Virginia Tech University and lead author of the study published today in the journal Birth Defects Research.
The mice didn’t even need to be directly dosed–just using disinfectants in the rooms led to increased birth defect rates.People are exposed “every day to these chemicals,” she added.
The chemicals, called quaternary ammonium compounds, or “quats”, are often found in cleaning products and disinfectants used in people’s homes as well as at hotels and hospitals because they’re efficient at cleaning bacteria and viruses.