If you use disinfecting wipes, it’s likely because you want to rid your home of germs. They might do a good job of accomplishing that task, but you could be introducing something that is potentially even more harmful when you use them.
In fact, the EPA regulates disinfecting wipes as pesticides, which actually makes sense when you consider that they are meant for controlling germs, which are a type of pest. That’s also why you’ll find instructions on using the product for killing pests on the label, as well as first aid directions for accidental exposure.
Just what is in these pesticide wipes that you’re spreading all over your kitchen and other important surfaces on the pretense of “good health”?
Most of them contain toxic quaternary ammonium compounds. Also known as “quats,” these compounds can cause allergies and asthma, and they can irritate your lungs, eyes and skin. If you see terms like “Alkyl C12-18,” “Alkyl C12-14,” or “n-Alkyl dimethyl benzyl ammonium chloride” on the ingredients list, it’s time to start shopping for a replacement. Quats have also been linked to reproductive problems.
Some wipes contain cancer-causing ortho-phenylphenyl. Premoistened wipes contain chemicals like parabens and formaldehyde releasers to stop bacteria from growing within the package. If your wipes contain chlorine bleach, you should know that it’s been linked to asthma…more