Coronavirus: Make Your Home A Bacteria & Virus Killing Refuge Without Disinfecting

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Many leading antibacterial hand soaps and disinfectant sprays use quaternary ammonium compounds, called QAC’s, as the active ingredient. Banned by the European Union since 2016 for use in many consumer products, QAC’s go from our drains into the ecosystem where they can harm living organisms. Boise plumber Brad Adams highlights small changes to the germy areas of your home that will kill bacteria and viruses year round – including the coronavirus, without you doing anything or harming the environment.

First Off – Facts You Should Know About The QAC’s In Your Soap & Disinfectants

antibacterial-soap-disinfectants-with-qacs

As consumers we trust that manufacturers are developing products that are safe for both us and the environment. Unfortunately that seems hardly the case here, consider these facts about the QAC’s in your antibacterial soaps and disinfectants:

  • QAC’s, the antibacterial component of soaps and disinfectants, are rinsed down our drains, pass through wastewater treatment plants and are released into our waterways where they are toxic to aquatic organisms such as algae,
    daphnids, fish, rotifer, and microorganisms. [see studies 1 & 2 below]
  • When exposed to QAC’s, bacterial strains such as MRSA, E. coli, and salmonella, among others, have been shown to become resistant to antibiotics making their infections harder to treat. [see studies 3 & 4 below]
  • Exposure to QAC’s in healthcare settings have been linked to occupational asthma. [see studies 5 & 6 below]
  • When used for cleaning cages, residual from QAC’s in disinfectants are shown to produce multigenerational defects in developing mice and rat fetuses. [see study 7 below]
  • QAC exposure in clinical study has been shown to alter both the gut microbiome and immune systems in mice, favoring autoimmune and inflammatory diseases. [see study 8 below]
  • Exposure to QAC’s is shown to negatively impact both male and female reproductive ability in mice. [see study 9 below]

Studies are clear that we cannot ignore the potential for serious human health risks from routine use of disinfectants and soaps containing QAC’s. Regular exposure to QAC’s may be contributing to the rise of certain diseases over the past few decades.

Common QAC’s In Your Antibacterial Soaps & Disinfectants

How do you know if there’s QAC’s in the antibacterial soaps or disinfectant sprays in your home? Here’s a list of common QAC’s used in household products:

  • Alkyl dimethyl benzyl ammonium chlorides (C12-16)
  • Alkyl dimethyl benzyl ammonium chloride (C14 60%, C16 30%, C12 5%, C18 5%)
  • Alkyl dimethyl ethylbenzyl ammonium chloride (C12-14)
  • Alkyl dimethyl ethylbenzyl ammonium chlorides (C12-18)
  • Benzalkonium chloride
  • Benzethonium chloride
  • Didecyldimethylammonium chloride
  • Dioctyldimethylammonium chloride

While the U.S. FDA hasn’t banned QAC’s from consumer products, even they say you can skip antibacterial hand soaps because their safety and effectiveness is unproven – read their own article in footnote 10 below.

Two Changes To Your Home That Kill Viruses & Bacteria Naturally – Including Coronavirus

#1 Install copper based door knobs and kitchen & bathroom faucets because they kill bacteria & viruses.

Really? Yes. We all know door knobs and faucets collect and spread germs throughout your entire family that get everyone sick. That’s true for chrome and stainless steel fixtures, however, copper naturally kills both bacteria and viruses around the clock – including the novel coronavirus. Brass, bronze and copper-nickel are
all copper alloys that wage the same war against germs. Clinical studies show copper alloys inoculate viruses in as little as 5 minutes, and hospital trials with copper alloy touch surfaces have seen a reduction in hospital acquired infections of 58%. The key here is to use natural copper, brass, bronze, or coppernickel, meaning that it’s free from any lacquer or wax coatings. Coatings put a barrier over the copper that keep germs from being killed. [see studies 11 & 12 below]

#2 Use regular soap and water to kill viruses

Yep it’s true, and it even works better than disinfectants, wipes and alcohol based gels. Viruses are structurally weak parasites with a fatty membrane. Regular soap dissolves this membrane, causing the virus cells to fall apart and die. The problem is that most of us don’t wash thoroughly enough to make this happen no matter what we’re using to wash with. Lather up for a full 20 seconds with regular soap, carefully washing between your fingers and under fingernails and you’ll kill the viruses without harming the environment or yourself. [see article 13 below]

Interested in exploring copper based kitchen and bath faucets for your home? Please call us at (208) 5196500 or visit us on the web at www.boiseserviceplumbers.com, we’re a green conscious Boise plumber who is glad to help.

Complete Plumbing Services, Boise, Idaho

Clinical Studies and Article Citations:

  1. Quaternary ammonium compounds (QACs): a review on occurrence, fate and toxicity in the environment, June 2015 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25770948
  2. Comprehensive screening of quaternary ammonium surfactants and ionic liquids in wastewater effluents and lake sediments, January 2020 https://pubs.rsc.org/en/content/articlehtml/2020/em/c9em00554d
  3. Benzalkonium Chlorides: Uses, Regulatory Status, and Microbial Resistance, April 2019 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6581159/
  4. Widely Used Benzalkonium Chloride Disinfectants Can Promote Antibiotic Resistance, June 2018 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6102991/
  5. Asthma related to cleaning agents: a clinical insight, 2013 https://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/3/9/e003568.full
  6. Asthma among workers in healthcare settings: role of disinfection with quaternary ammonium compounds, 2014 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24128009
  7. Ambient and Dosed Exposure to Quaternary Ammonium Disinfectants Causes Neural Tube Defects in Rodents, June 2017 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5905424/
  8. Evaluating Immunotoxitity of Quaternary Ammonium Compounds, 2017 https://vtechworks.lib.vt.edu/handle/10919/79723
  9. Quaternary ammonium disinfectants cause subfertility in mice by targeting both male and female reproductive processes, 2015 https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0890623815300319
  10. Antibacterial Soap? You Can Skip It, Use Plain Soap and Water, May 2019 https://www.fda.gov/consumers/consumer-updates/antibacterial-soap-you-can-skip-it-use-plain-soap-and-water
  11. Copper Alloy Surfaces Kill Bacteria and Reduce Hospital-Acquired Infections, October 2015 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4561453/
  12. The science of soap – here’s how it kills the coronavirus, March 2020 https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/mar/12/science-soap-kills-coronavirus-alcohol-based-disinfectants
  13. Aerosol and Surface Stability of SARS-CoV-2 as Compared with SARS-CoV-1, March 2020 https://www.nejm.org/doi/10.1056/NEJMc2004973

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