Chemicals R Us – Safety in Numbers?
Hrubec: The increasing number of chemicals present today has allowed us to do many things that we never would have thought possible decades ago. But this comes at a potential cost.
Oftentimes, newly developed chemicals may have a number of different uses, which could lead to unexpected results. I’m Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet.
Hrubec: Approximately 4000 new substances are registered each day and not all of these can be thoroughly tested before they are used in consumer products.
Terry Hrubec is a assistant research assistant professor at the College of Veterinary medicine at Virginia Tech.
Hrubec: This is potentially exposing consumers to harmful and toxic compounds. Scientists throughout the world have realized that this is a potential concern and have raised red flags, both to governments and to grassroots or citizens organizations to try to promote greater product scrutiny.
Hrubec and her team have raised a red flag over the chemical compounds known as QAC’s or Quats.
Hrubec: Quat compounds have a number of different properties. One of them is antimicrobial, to prevent infection or transmission of bacteria and diseases. A second is an antistatic property. Quats are often used in consumer products such as dryer sheets fabric softeners and hair-conditioners, to reduce static buildup. Use of Quats as an antistatic component can cause an unintended effect by creating bacterial resistance to Quats, which undermines their use in preventing infection and spreading disease.
I’m Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet.