Quats are independently regulated for their safety and effectiveness in surface disinfection and hand hygiene.
In the U.S., surface disinfection is regulated by the U.S. EPA and hand hygiene is regulated by the FDA.
To receive approval for use by the EPA, all disinfection active ingredients in cleaning products must go through extensive independent review. The EPA’s process for approval of surface disinfectants under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) statutory requirements is the most data-intensive regulatory system in the U.S. other than the FDA’s process for approval of pharmaceuticals.
The EPA published Reregistration Eligibility Decision Documents for two primary quat formulations (ADBAC and DDAC) in 2006, issuing Final Work Plans in 2017.
Outside the U.S., Australia has also carried out safety assessments for squats, concluding in 2015 that quat-based products used as intended do not necessitate any additional risk management measures. An environmental assessment for benzalkonium chloride, a quat commonly used in consumer products, concluded in 2016 that the substance was below the level of environmental concern.
Quat-based disinfectant cleaners are proven to be safe for home and professional use when used as directed. In fact, quats are a trusted ingredient in a variety of different household and professional disinfectant cleaners, many of which you find on grocery store shelves.
Quat-based disinfectant cleaners do not irritate skin or lungs, do not have a strong smell, do not damage or discolor surfaces, and are easily compatible with most cleaning ingredients, making them especially well-suited for use in home and professional setting.
Additionally, benzalkonium chloride is one of the few active ingredients available today that are permitted for use in antibacterial hand hygiene products globally.
Quats are proven effective at very low concentrations, in fact quat-based disinfectants intended for consumer use on hard, non-porous surfaces are notably dilute – with quats typically making up less than 0.3% of water-based formulations.
Source: Arxada Quat Facts: Home – Arxada Quats (quatfacts.com)