Quaternary Ammonium Compounds QUAT's

SCA endorses products with the Allergy Certified logo, that do not contain QUATS. Quats are formaldehyde releasing chemicals, associated with multiple health risks including allergies & skin, eye & lung irritation as well as contact dermatitis. Studies estimate that 13% to 34% of contact dermatitis cases may be linked to exposure to Quaternary Ammonium Compounds.


CAS No: 61789-75-1 ; Other names: Benzyldimethyl tallow quaternary ammonium chloride. CAS No: 71011-25-1 ; Other names: Dimethyl dihydrogenated tallow ammonium chloride, reaction products with dimethylbenzyl hydrogenated tallow ammonium chloride and bentonite. CAS No: 61789-74-0. SURFACTANTS; CAS No: 8001-54-5, 85665-42-5, 63449-41-2, 68989-00-4, 91080-30-7, 85409-22-9, 68424-85-1, 68391-01-5, 68607-20-5, 91080-31-8, 61789-75-1, 61789-72-8, 61789-71-7, 61789-74-0, CAS No: 112-00-5, 1119-94-4, 4574-04-3, 1119-97-7, 112-02-7, 57-09-0, 505-86-2, 124-03-8, 112-03-8, 17301-53-0, 5538-94-3, 7173-51-5, 2390-68-3, 10361-16-7, 3401-74-9, 1812-53-9, 107-64-2, 123312-54-9, 85409-24-1, 68391-03-7, 106233-03-8, 68607-24-9, 8030-78


Quaternary Ammonium Compounds; found in fabric softener liquids, disinfectant wipes and sprays, as well as most household cleaners labeled “antibacterial or disinfectant”


  • IMAP - Tier II - Environment.

  • NICNAS No restrictions for use.


  • "This ingredient and related ingredients are all called quats—”quaterny ammonium compounds” that are used in a wide range of products as preservatives, surfactants, and germicides. Some are also used as conditioning agents, giving skin and hair a slippery and smooth feel." - AnneMarieSkincare

  • Disinfectant products; "effective against most vegetative bacteria and enveloped viruses, and some fungi." - Science Direct

  • "In addition to harming germs, quats are lung irritants and can contribute to asthma and other breathing problems. They irritate skin too – and can lead to rashes. (This is one reason why packages of antibacterial wipes strongly recommend washing your hands after use. A factor that really takes the convenience out of using a wipe in the first place!)" - www.womensvoices.org


Cleaning Products

What are common sources of irritant contact dermatitis?

Cleveland Clinic says that "Detergents, soaps, cleaners, waxes, and chemicals are substances that can irritate the skin. They can wear down the oily, protective layer on skin surface and lead to irritant contact dermatitis. Irritant contact dermatitis is common among people who regularly work with strong chemicals or detergents, such as restaurant, maintenance, and chemical workers. It is also seen in people who do a lot of housework due to contact with cleaning products." - Contact Dermititis

Health Line says, "Irritant contact dermatitis is the most common type of contact dermatitis. It happens when the skin comes in contact with a toxic material. Toxic substances that can cause irritant contact dermatitis include: battery acid, bleach, drain cleaners, kerosene, detergents and pepperspray. Irritant contact dermatitis can also occur when the skin comes in contact with less irritating materials — like soap or even water — too often." - Contact Dermititis Casues

SCA endorses products that are made from Biodegradable Surfactants are used accordance with the Australian Standard AS 4351

Ideally cleaning products should: Not contain hazardous chemicals; Use only biodegradable surfactants; Contain No or low levels of phosphates; Low Sodium = Septic Safe; Contain no or low level use of fillers; Be 100% Soluble in water; Have low environmental impact packaging. Domestic home cleaning agents should exclude and/or restrict all chemicals that form the Allergy Certified Campaign (as detailed above and below).

Amina Kitching