In Chemistry, Quaternary ammonium compounds are cationic detergents and antiseptics (viral/bacterial) added to various solutions. Ammonia itself is a gas and is the active chemical gas that denatures mycotoxin (Which is found in both the quat and hydroxide forms of ammonium)
What is Household Ammonia?
When ammonia is mixed with H20 or water it is called Ammonium Hydroxide (household liquid ammonia).
When Quats (detergents) are added to Ammonium Hydroxide you get Quaternary Ammonium. Quats "by themselves" do not denature mycotoxin. Their purpose are to “lift” organic matter from surfaces or are added as bacterial or virus killers. An example would be how dish soap contains quat. Without the quat in the dishsoap it would not lift the food (organic substance) from the food and you’d have to use the power of water alone to wash your dishes. (which doesn’t work too well).
Quaternary ammonium has a different (pH) than Ammonium Hydroxide which means it is “NOT” as strong as Ammonium Hydroxide (common household ammonia). Ammonium Hydroxide is stronger than Quaternary Ammonium as it applies to “mycotoxin degradation” only.
Both Quaternary Ammonium & Ammonium Hydroxide (common household liquid ammonia) kill mold spores AND denature mycotoxin only because they contain “Ammonia”. But Quaternary is weaker because it is an additional added ingredient which lessens the overall total amount of the ammonia in Ammonium Hydroxide. Less ammonia = weaker ability to neutralize.
Quaternary Ammonium is most often used in situations where floods and cleanups require a detergent to lift dirt, scum and/or indoor water damage bacteria or viruses are more dominant than an overall mold issue because ammonia by itself is a weak antibacterial. But for toxic mold situations it is not required to have an antibacterial only something to kill mold and neutralize and break up the molecular structure of mycotoxin.
Ammonium Hydroxide (Household Ammonia of 3% concentrations or less) is much safer and does not cause long term health effects but Quaternary Ammonium causes more severe lung damage and also attacks the reproductive system and endocrine systems. (NOT GOOD). Ammonia Gas is natural…whereas Quats are synthetic man made and dangerous for use