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When do they do more harm than good?

The COVID-19 pandemic has boosted the use of antimicrobial chemicals called quaternary ammonium compounds (QACs or quats). We partnered with scientists from 14 universities and several government agencies and NGOs to review the benefits and risks of this emerging chemical class. Concerningly, we found that these chemicals are not only linked to health problems, antimicrobial resistance, and environmental harm, but that they also provide no benefit over regular soap and water in many cases. We published our findings and recommendations in the peer-reviewed journal Environmental Science & Technology. See our press release for more details. 

Environ. Sci. Technol. 2023,