A new study from the University of California finds that chemicals in such common household products as hand wipes, disinfectants, and mouthwash, contain “quats” (quaternary ammonium compounds), destroying germs and causing infertility in women.
A team of researchers looked over 1,600 compounds containing quats. They discovered that these chemicals really block human mitochondria and make them working incorrectly. They also affect the hormone estrogen, which plays a vital part in women falling pregnant.
Dr. Gino Cortopassi, co-author of a study on the chemicals says: “However we don’t yet know what levels these compounds reach in humans.’ Quats, used since the 1940s, are good disinfectants because they dissolve the cell membranes of germs found in our homes. They work the same way to kill bugs in our mouths.”
Researchers say they are able to identify habits and lifestyles by analysing chemicals, molecules and germs on people’s smartphones. These aspects include diet, medication, hygiene, beauty products, and general health.
For their study, a team of scientists took swabs from 4 areas on the smartphones belonging to 39 healthy adults.
Amina Bouslimani, first author of the study, says: “By analyzing the molecules they’ve left behind on their phones, we could tell if a person is likely female, uses high-end cosmetics, dyes her hair, drinks coffee, prefers beer over wine, likes spicy food, is being treated for depression, wears sunscreen and bug spray – and therefore likely spends a lot of time outdoors – all kinds of things.”
Study senior author Pieter Dorrestein, a professor at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine and School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, believes that this approach could be useful in a number of areas, including medical clinical trials, criminal profiling, airport screening, etc.