Detergents linked to fertility problems

Lana Bandoim's picture
Detergents and fertility problems

A new study reveals that several ingredients in detergents may be linked to fertility problems. The two chemicals, didecyl dimethylammonium chloride (DDAC) and alkyl dimethyl benzalkonium chloride (ADBAC), had a negative impact on the reproductive abilities of mice. Researchers believe these ingredients may also be affecting people and want to investigate fertility.


DDAC and ADBAC are found in multiple detergents and other products currently available for consumers. Disinfectants, cleaners and sanitizers are some of the most common items that contain these two ingredients. However, they can also be found in products ranging from makeup to dryer sheets. It is difficult to avoid DDAC and ADBAC because they are part of the popular quaternary ammonium compounds used by manufacturers.


The research, published in Reproductive Technology, reveals that mice included in the study suffered from infertility after exposure to didecyl dimethylammonium chloride and alkyl dimethyl benzalkonium chloride. In addition, 40 percent of the mice died. The researchers believe it is possible that the chemicals may also be affecting human reproduction, but more studies will be needed.

DDAC and ADBAC are the latest chemicals suspected of hurting fertility in people. BPA and other common ingredients in household items have also been linked to infertility. Concerns about chemicals in detergents have sparked movements to use more natural cleaners, and there are many alternatives available. However, it is important to remember the research on didecyl dimethylammonium chloride and alkyl dimethyl benzalkonium chloride included mice, so studies that show the impact on people are still necessary.

People who are concerned about the potential side effects of using DDAC and ADBAC have options. It is possible to create your own natural detergents at home, and there are multiple recipes online that can make the process a fun family project.


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