Household cleaning is a routine task. It’s not just removing the dust and wiping the dirt away. If there are more people living in the house, pets or simply the weather condition sometimes affects the cleanliness of a house. If it is dirtier in routine, more time and energy will be spent on cleaning it.

It’s a common thing to use house cleaning agents. It is helpful to get rid of the stubborn and persistent strains. These house cleaners are available in different forms manufactured by leading companies.

What is the research about?

The latest research from Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine (VCOM) and the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine at Virginia Tech – both in Blacksburg, VA suggested that a common house cleaner has certain chemicals which are a major health threat. This study was published in the journal named Birth Defects Research by the author Terry Hrubec.

Terry is an associate professor of anatomy and currently enrolled as research assistant professor in Department of Biomedical Sciences and Pathobiology at the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine.

The prime subject of this study was household cleaning chemicals called quaternary ammonium compounds. These chemicals are a common choice in every house because they have antimicrobial potential.

These are everyday household disinfectants in the form of cleaner, detergents, stain remover, washing liquids and fabric softeners. They are also added as preservatives in many personal hygiene products which include shampoo, conditioners, body wash, shower gels, liquid soaps, intimate wash and even eye drops too.

What were the targets?

The team of researchers studied two chemicals called alkyl dimethyl benzyl ammonium chloride (ADBAC) and didecyl dimethyl ammonium chloride (DDAC). These two are used along with each other in all the up listed cleaning products. For the study the effects, the researchers introduced these chemicals on mice and rats, in a vivarium.

Both male and female were exposed to both these chemicals as a combined form. This combined form was a common disinfectant, as it is used for cleaning purpose.  The substances were given to them in food and atmosphere.

The mice were exposed to 60 and 120 mg substance per kg body weight on a daily basis. This was the dose via food. The other way, via atmosphere it was given in 7.5 mg, 15mg and 30 mg per kg of the body weight. The dosing via atmosphere was also ensured as a part of their testing room.

The assessment of embryo was made on 10th day of pregnancy and 18th day of pregnancy. The results of this study were astonishing. Both the results showed skeletal deformities.

Cleaning Compounds safex-80

What were the results?

The study finally revealed that neural tube defects were caused more in rodents which were exposed to these chemicals from the disinfectants. These defects are birth defects which are common in the first month pregnancy. They hit the foremost organs during the developmental phase that include brain, spine, or spinal cord of the fetus.

Only, exposing the test animals to the chemically enriched atmosphere was enough to initiate these defects. It showed higher damages as compared to the damages via food and oral dosing.

These defects were observable even when only the single parent was infected with the chemicals. It was concluded that these chemical affect the reproductive potential as well as cause birth defects. Another follow-up study revealed that it causes a visible decline in sperm counts of male and female ovulation.

To our surprise, these chemicals, as a part of all common disinfectants are continuously used in homes, hospitals and public places. Even the swimming pool cleaners are high in these compounds.

The final word

The study suggested that another epidemiological study should be done to examine the number of people affected by these chemicals so that it could be quoted for future. This research has opened a new debate of choosing the safe choices for the next generation.

With time, we are reaching for safer options and in this situation, children with birth defects are the prime concern. These cleaning agents should be strictly banned and the industries should use any alternative and safe chemical which is not damaging to the human health.

With time, we are reaching for safer options and in this situation, children with birth defects are the prime concern. These cleaning agents should be strictly banned and the industries should use any alternative and safe chemical which is not damaging to the human health.

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