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Some hints on how to use quats

QUATs are active ingredients widely used both for household and for professional disinfection. Do we know how to use them? Do we follow user instructions?

DDAC and ADBAC are present in a vast variety of products, but not everybody knows how to use them and what their expected performance is. Are they supposed to give a full protection against all microorganism instantly after their use?


In order to have this awareness it is important to read the product labels and the user instructions.

Mode of action: DDAC and ADBAC are quaternary ammonium substances and, as such, they are surfactants. They are membrane active agents leading to the disorganisation of the microorganisms membrane, followed by the leakage of the intracellular substance and eventually to the death of the cell.

Target organisms: DDAC and ADBAC proved to be quite efficacious against bacteria, yeasts and enveloped viruses. The efficacy against fungi and non-enveloped viruses is quite limited. DDAC proved to be slightly more efficacious than ADBAC. Of course their performance is higher in clean conditions rather than in dirty conditions, where they are efficacious at higher concentrations and higher contact times.

Claims: When dealing with a Biocidal Product Family (BPF), containing one or both the above-mentioned active ingredients, the uses and the claims of the different products can be many. The actives have been authorised and are going to be authorised for a good number of Product Types.

In order to build a functional BPF, the products contained in it should have similar uses and claims. This would allow to compare efficacy results obtained and to build a bridging strategy. Bridging will significantly reduce the number of studies and, since a new guidance (on the identification of the worst case scenario) for efficacy have been provided, it will be easier to meet the requests of eCA.

New efficacy guidance: Recently an updated efficacy guidance was be published by ECHA, introducing a number of changes. The guidance will be updated further and it will be crucial to monitor them especially those relative to airborne and textile disinfection.

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 More from our quats series: How to save time and costs in the analysis of quats
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