Nearly half of the disinfectants recommended by the EPA contain quaternary ammonium compounds (QACs), a broad group of chemicals sometimes referred to as “quats.” QACs, which can be absorbed into the skin, are linked to damage of the reproductive system, asthma and other respiratory illnesses.
Children, who typically spend about one-third of their day in schools, are more susceptible and vulnerable to environmental hazards. That’s because their organs and immune systems are still developing, and because they are more likely to touch their eyes and mouths after touching surfaces, experts say.
A study by CDC researchers published in the Journal of the American Medical Association reviewed case reports on pesticide-related illness in childcare centers from 1998-2002. They found that disinfectants, including QAC-based disinfectants, were implicated in 830 out of 2,593 pesticide-related illnesses, including upper respiratory infection.Schools Increase Use of Toxic Chemicals to Fight COVID Despite Health Impacts on Children • Children’s Health Defense