What are quats, and why be against them?
“Quats” (ammonium quaternary compounds) are harmful disinfecting chemicals used in wipes and other cleaning products. Children are particularly affected by quats, which are linked to respiratory and reproductive harms. Making changes in the home can help reduce exposure to these toxic chemicals. But quats are also routinely used in places where children learn and play, like schools and child care facilities.
What is Parents Against Quats?
Parents Against Quats (PAQ) is a national action group of concerned parents who want to take action to eliminate or reduce children’s exposure to quats in schools and child care facilities. PAQ members are parents from around the country, who are working locally to make change in their communities. The PAQ action group meets regularly by phone (or video) to brainstorm ideas, coordinate local strategies, and support each other. In addition to the PAQ action group meetings, you will also talk separately with WVE staff to get tailored support.
As a member, you will be a leader in your community. The action group provides a support system so you don’t feel like you’re working alone!
What kinds of local actions can a PAQ member work on?
As a member, you will create your own plan of action that works for your needs, schedule, and community. So don’t worry about taking on too much—we won’t let that happen. Some local actions that you could potentially choose to work on include:
- Meet with the school principal (or child care facility operator) to discuss your concerns about quats
- Work to get products containing quats off of back-to-school shopping lists
- Engage your Parent Teacher Association (PTA) to advocate for safer cleaning products that don’t contain quats or other harmful chemicals
What you’ll get as a PAQ member
- A resource toolkit that meets the needs of PAQ members
- Support with reaching out to parents, teachers, and others locally, from WVE’s outreach and campaigns manager
- Support with being a spokesperson on the science of quats from WVE’s director of science and research
- Support with social media from WVE’s communications director
- Ideas, feedback, and encouragement from other PAQ members
- Separate conversations with WVE staff for tailored support (to develop your action plan, get specific guidance and/or feedback, practice talking points/scripts, etc.)
- The opportunity to speak on future webinars, sharing your experience taking action locally