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Sample Letter to Gym Owners: Quit the Quats

To whom it may concern:

As a member/members of (NAME OF GYM), I/we am writing to you with information and concerns about certain cleaning products used in your facility. Specifically, I/we have recently become aware of the potential harms of certain disinfectant chemicals called quaternary ammonium compounds (or “quats” for short). These chemicals are commonly found in disinfectant products and are certainly potent against germs, but unfortunately, they often much more powerful than needed, leading to unintended health consequences for those who are exposed to them.   Specifically, these chemicals have been linked to increased asthma and breathing problems in cleaning workers that use them. Quats are also powerful irritants. Skin exposure to quats can lead to dermatitis (skin rashes). There is emerging evidence that quats may also be linked to reproductive problems. (There is a good reason that many cleaners containing quats have complex safety instructions – sometimes requiring eye protection, respiratory protection and careful washing of hands after use.)

I/We noticed that (NAME OF PRODUCT(S) USED at FACILITY) is used in your gym – and it contains quats as its active ingredient. The use of this product/these products in your gym means that both your employees and your customers are regularly exposed to this chemical. {IF THE PRODUCT IS A SELF-SERVE SPRAY BOTTLE OR WIPE TO CLEAN OFF MACHINES YOU CAN ADD:]  While I/we appreciate that the gym provides cleaners to wipe down gym equipment before I/we use it, I/we would prefer a safer alternative.   It is especially inconvenient to use a quat-containing cleaner that requires washing hands thoroughly immediately afterwards in order to safely use it.

As the owner of a business that promotes healthy lives, I am asking you to consider replacing your current products with alternative cleaning products which do not contain quats.  Giving up the use of cleaners with quats doesn’t mean having a dirtier gym.  There are numerous effective, inexpensive and commonly used non-antibacterial cleaners which can make places spotless.  If you find it is still important to have an antibacterial product, there are alternatives out there as well using safer disinfectants like hydrogen peroxide and lactic acid.

Enclosed please find some fact sheets with additional information about quats, as well as resources on how to find safer alternatives.

Thanks so much for considering my (our) request.

Signed

Resources to Include with Letter

Fact Sheets

GO TO – Quit Quats main page