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TOPIC: Common household cleaner found to cause infertility

Common household cleaner found to cause infertility 18 Jun 2008 21:30 #8869

  • Debra
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A new accidental finding in an animal study indicates a new possible cause of infertility.

From Nature June 19th, 2008

Lab disinfectant harms mouse fertility p964
[font="verdana, arial, helvetica, sans-serif"]Two chemicals widely used in cleaning agents for homes, offices and hospitals cause birth defects and fertility problems in mice whose cages have been in contact with them, according to Patricia Hunt at Washington State University in Pullman. The quaternary ammonium compounds ADBAC (n-alkyl dimethyl benzyl ammonium chloride) and DDAC (didecyl dimethyl ammonium chloride) were identified after an exhaustive search for what was causing a massive drop-off in mouse fertility after Hunt moved her research animals to Pullman from Case Western Reserve Medical School in Cleveland, Ohio, in 2005. The chemicals were in the disinfectant Virex used in the facility. It is Hunt's second accidental foray into toxicology. In 2003 she linked a rash of mysterious egg defects in her research animals to bisphenol A, a chemical that began leaching from plastic water bottles after a high-pH floor detergent was mistakenly used to clean them. Hunt, who studies mammalian egg development, announced her latest results at the Society for the Study of Reproduction meeting in Kona, Hawaii, last month.[/font]

Brendan Maher (see whole text at link)
[font="verdana, arial, helvetica, sans-serif"]doi:10.1038/453964a [/font]
[font="verdana, arial, helvetica, sans-serif"] Full Text | PDF [/font]

Do These Compounds harm humans?

What concerns me is that they persist for so long in the environment. Given our experience, I am concerned that they might have a deleterious effect on the ovary, uterus and in lactation. This group of compounds acts on the cell membrane, and does a fantastic job of killing everything. But, you know, we're composed of membranes too.

I think the effects we've seen are very significant and potentially important for human health and reproduction, so I'd like to see someone research it. It does not affect my favourite part of the process, which is meiosis. So there's no compelling reason for me to continue investigations.

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