Paul DeLeo and Anthony Luz Share New Safety Assessment of Quaternary Ammonium Compounds
March 30, 2020

Quaternary ammonium compounds, known as Quats, are a large class of chemicals used in consumer and industrial products for their antimicrobial properties. Quats are the active ingredient in many disinfectant products and are among the most extensively used. Integral toxicologists Paul DeLeo, Ph.D., and Anthony Luz, Ph.D., recently conducted an assessment of the available human safety data for two groups of those compounds used in consumer industrial products—alkyl dimethyl benzyl ammonium chloride (ADBAC) compounds and didecyl dimethyl ammonium chloride (DDAC) compounds. Both groups are approved for use in the United States by EPA and their use is administered in Europe by the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA). However, a comprehensive summary of the safety information has not been previously available beyond the regulatory documents.

The risk assessments found that ADBAC and DDAC compounds are not systemically toxic, carcinogenic, or developmental or reproductive toxicants. The main concern associated with exposure is local effects through irritation. Wearing gloves while applying the products would mitigate exposures that might lead to irritation.

View the poster “Human Health Hazard Assessments of Alkyl Dimethyl Benzyl Ammonium Chloride and Didecyl Dimethyl Ammonium Chloride,” which summarizes the safety assessment data. The poster was published as part of the virtual meeting program of the 2020 Annual Meeting of the Society of Toxicology.

View List N, EPA’s list of products that meet the agency’s criteria for use against SARS-CoV-2, the novel coronavirus that causes the disease COVID-19.

For more information, contact Dr. DeLeo at or Dr. Luz at