Antiseptic efficacy of benzalkonium chloride - microbewiki

Antiseptic efficacy of benzalkonium chloride

BromSite may be used concomitantly with other ophthalmic medications.1 Patients should be advised to administer BromSite at least 5 minutes after instillation of other topical ophthalmic medications.1 Contact lenses should not be worn during treatment with BromSite.1 The preservative in BromSite, benzalkonium chloride, may be absorbed by soft contact lenses.1

CAS No : 100-51-6, Benzalkonium Chloride - Impurity A

I just got back from an allergy doctor at Mayo who told me that I may have an allergy to benzalkonium chloride. I have had a rash on two specific places on my lips for six months and have struggled with eye allergies for over a year. The only thing that worked for me was to completely stop using any and all products, including soap, lotions, cosmetics, sunscreens, contacts, drops, etc. Is there any way to tell for sure that it is benzalkonium chloride? I’d like to eventually be able to use some of these products again, but don’t want to risk a reaction again. Is it safe to do an “at home” patch test on my arm, for example? Is there some product out there that has a high concentration at a fairly cheap price?

We are glad to hear that you haven’t had any allergies and we certainly hope that you continue to enjoy good health. The evidence suggests that populations exposed to benzalkonium chloride and related chemicals over time have a higher incidence of asthma, dermatitis, and other immune dysfunctions. This is a statistical correlation but does not imply that any given individual will suffer adverse health effects. In addition, there is laboratory evidence that these chemicals exaggerate the immune system response to environmental allergens. Taken together, we feel that there is sufficient reason for concern that frequent ongoing exposure to benzalkonium chloride and related chemicals may increase the risk of asthma, dermatitis, and allergies.


I was found to develop a very severe allergic reaction at ophthalmologist’s clinic when given anesthetic drops with benzalkonium chloride. However I have been treated for EKC and other eye problems for several months now (with two breaks) with steroids (and other medication) all containing benzalkonium chloride!!!
I found two medical papers (Preservatives in Topical Ophthalmic Medication, Feb 2009 and Allergic Reactions to… 2005. After reading it became clear to me that most of my problems are due to toxic accumulation of benzalkonium chloride (which now can be only controlled by more steroids….)

Benzalkonium Chloride;DDBAC/BKC;CAS No 8001-54-5; …

During our launch of the WHO clean hands campaign, we discovered that some of our Islamic staff would not use alcohol containing hand rubs. Would Benzalkonium Chloride containing hand rubs be an effective alternative for use in a hospital setting? Is the kill rate effective enough?

What is the HLB value of Benzalkonium chloride?

Thank you for this article. I just left the Dr; i had to go in after developing an odd reaction. Three days ago I had to have a urine test done, of course I had to use an antiseptic wipe first. Less than an hour later the area swelled up to 4 times the normal size. It seems I am allergic to Benzalkonium chloride. I will now be reading the labels to see what I am actually putting in/on my body!!


Hi Gigi, thanks for writing. Please check back to read more about benzalkonium chloride – we’ll continue to share information as Dr. Weiss becomes aware of additional studies and research that become available. Our latest post on a Harvard study on concerns with quaternary ammonia use in hospitals is at