This blog was written for Ingenious Probiotics.

As a global community, we have grown to adore our disinfectants. We use them everywhere, and we even buy antibacterial soaps, hand sanitisers, and car wipes of our steering wheels. It’s safe to say that we are obsessed with the idea of cleaning and disinfectants. But is this natural? Is this good for us or are we slowly creating super bugs that can potentially be fatal to us in the future? 

What are QUATs and why are they dangerous? 

QUATS are quaternary ammonium compounds which are antimicrobial chemicals. They are found in a wide range of products, including but not limited to dishwashing liquids, hand soaps, disinfectants, fabric softeners, sunscreen, body wash and even spermicidal jellies. In short, they are very effective germ killers that are cheap and easy to produce, making them ideal for a wide range of products. Sounds like a great idea, right? Unfortunately, while QUATs are profitable and less damaging than standard chemicals, they are now associated with multiple health risks, such as allergies, contact dermatitis, asthma, reproductive and developmental toxicity, and injuries, including eye and mucous membrane injuries from splashing or contact with mists, and oral and gastrointestinal injuries from swallowing solutions that contain QUATs. It can also lead to imbalanced hormone imbalance in the body, since some QUATs are endocrine disruptors. 

Why have disinfectants become a problem? 

There is a long standing debate on whether disinfectants are more harm than good, and the science points to danger. In a nutshell, disinfectants go “full chemo” on bacteria, killing everything in its path, the good, the bad and the ugly. We have been indoctrinated to think bacteria = bad, and often fail to realise the long term side effects of this practice. Killing everything in your path is never a good idea, because when you kill the good bacteria, the bad thrives. Bad bacteria thrives off the oils and dirt on surfaces, but the good bacteria jumps in, eats everything, outnumbers the bad, and suddenly, you’ve got yourself a good bacteria coup, restoring law and order to the microflora in our environment. 

Now, if you nuke everything, you’re killing the good stuff; the bad stuff not only wins, but it “learns” to resist antimicrobials. On account of how these QUAT compounds interact with bacterial cell membranes, long term usage leads to promoting super bugs, which are simply mutated, antimicrobial resistant strains of bacteria, making them particularly dangerous to our overall health. 

How do probiotics work? 

You might have heard about probiotics being found naturally in the gut and found in yoghurt, but they are also found in plants, which is what we use in our eco-detergents. But how do they work? Too much bad bacteria can cause problems, and not enough good bacteria create an imbalance. Unlike chemical cleaning products that just obliterate everything in their path, probiotic cleaning products deliver a healthy amount of good bacteria, to starve the bad and essentially kill them and restore a healthy microflora. They clean without harming yourself and your environment. 

What are probiotic cleaning products? 

Our probiotic cleaning products are much kinder to the environment. They are naturally sourced eco-detergents with added good bacteria found in plants. It’s free from harmful chemicals, toxins, carcinogens and pollutants. They are safe for long term use, anti-allergenic, A+ rated for respiratory safety, biodegradable, sustainable and restores a healthy microflora. They don’t just kill everything in their path like QUAT-based cleaners and they work in a systematic way so that bacteria don’t develop antimicrobial resistance. 

What can I do as an individual or business? 

Now that we know what QUATS are and the threat they pose to our health long term, how can we as individuals help? Our planet exists in a delicate balance of various ecosystems, each contributing to the whole system in their unique ways. We must ask ourselves, how can we leave the world better than we found it? There are a number of things that we can do on a daily basis to help and it really starts with our individual choices. Our individual power is massive; there are 27.8 million households and 5.9 million private sector businesses in the UK alone. If half of those numbers made an individual choice to not use QUAT based products and choose alternatives, such as our probiotic cleaning products, it would make a dramatic change, to our health and to our environment. 

Start making the healthy choice for yourself, our health and our environment today.