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quats and environment - what you should know

DDAC and ADBAC are present in a great number of disinfectant products, both for general public and for professional use. What is the impact of their use on the environment?

DDAC and ADBAC are readily biodegradable molecules used mainly for household and professional disinfection. Many products are currently used to clean surfaces in private houses, hospitals, food processing firms and other facilities.
Since there is a wide range of applications it is crucial to understand the impact of the use of these products on the environment.

DDAC for instance has a harmonized classification which does not include environmental hazard, even if, in the “Competent Authority Report (CAR)”, there is the requirement / proposal to introduce the classification as H400 and H411.
The classification of ADBAC is not harmonized yet, but in the CAR the environmental classification, based on the studies received, is H400 and H410/H411.

With respect to emissions into the environment it is important to know that both active ingredients are readily biodegradable. Due to their Koc values (>100,000 L/Kg) they show a high absorptivity to soils, sediments and sludge, so they are less likely to contaminate groundwater.
In the majority of the uses as PT1, PT2 and PT4, the release in the environment will be preceded by sewage treatment plants (STP).

PT4: for such use conditions it is considered that the only relevant environmental exposure is via emission to drains and STP after use.
PT3: emission pathways are more complex due to the higher amount of product used to perform the disinfection and to the presence of active ingredient in the sediment and the soil following the disinfection of animal housing and veterinary areas.
PT1 and PT2: the opinions are not available yet, but it seems reasonable to expect a similar approach to that of PT4, namely that the relevant environmental exposure path is via STP.

Based on available emission scenarios and the environmental fate and behaviour, emission pathways of quats are mainly via STPs. Since these actives substances are considered as readily biodegradable, a high fraction is expected to be removed in STP. For the manure route in PT 3, however, it can be assumed that quats tend to adsorb strongly onto soil.

Start now planning your product families and performing preliminary environmental risk assessment.

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