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Title: Quaternary Ammonium Compounds: Bioaccumulation Potentials in Humans and Levels in Blood before and during the Covid-19 Pandemic.

Authors: Zheng, Guomao; Webster, Thomas F; Salamova, Amina

Published In Environ Sci Technol, (2021 Nov 02)

Abstract: Quaternary ammonium compounds (QACs) are commonly used in a variety of consumer, pharmaceutical, and medical products. In this study, bioaccumulation potentials of 18 QACs with alkyl chain lengths of C8-C18 were determined in the in vitro-in vivo extrapolation (IVIVE) model using the results of human hepatic metabolism and serum protein binding experiments. The slowest in vivo clearance rates were estimated for C12-QACs, suggesting that these compounds may preferentially build up in blood. The bioaccumulation of QACs was further confirmed by the analysis of human blood (sera) samples (n = 222). Fifteen out of the 18 targeted QACs were detected in blood with the ΣQAC concentrations reaching up to 68.6 ng/mL. The blood samples were collected during two distinct time periods: before the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic (2019; n = 111) and during the pandemic (2020, n = 111). The ΣQAC concentrations were significantly higher in samples collected during the pandemic (median 6.04 ng/mL) than in those collected before (median 3.41 ng/mL). This is the first comprehensive study on the bioaccumulation and biomonitoring of the three major QAC groups and our results provide valuable information for future epidemiological, toxicological, and risk assessment studies targeting these chemicals.

PubMed ID: 34662096 Exiting the NIEHS site

MeSH Terms: Bioaccumulation; COVID-19*; Disinfectants*; Humans; Pandemics; Quaternary Ammonium Compounds; SARS-CoV-2

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