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"Moms Against Cooties" a.k.a the Chlorine Industry

Today I got a press release via e-mail from the public relations person responsible for the "Moms against Cooties" campaign. Basically, the idea behind this campaign is that they want you to disinfect, disinfect, and disinfect some more and don't forget to tell your child's daycare to disinfect and disinfect and disinfect some more.

Since I'm a "Mom against Toxic Chemicals" who thinks that "cooties" (come on, we're adults, let's call them germs) are part of life and not the devil, I was naturally curious who was behind this campaign.

So I clicked through to the Moms against Cooties website and discovered in the small print at the bottom that "Moms Against Cooties is brought to you by the Water Quality and Health Council." Sounds like an interesting organization, but I wasn't sure what they would have against cooties. Since they don't link to the Water Quality and Health Council from the cooties website, I Googled it.

The main page of the Water Quality and Health website doesn't give any hint about who is behind it. But I clicked on the "About Us" page and found out that [emphasis mine]:

The Water Quality and Health Council is an independent, multidisciplinary group sponsored by the Chlorine Chemistry Division of the American Chemistry Council, an industry trade association.  The group comprises scientific experts, health professionals and consumer advocates who serve as advisors to the Chlorine Chemistry Division of the American Chemistry Council.

Interesting. I wonder why they didn't plaster that on the front page of the "Moms Against Cooties" website? I wonder why they didn't mention it in the press release?
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Reader Comments (17)

I hate when you find out these "mom campaigns" are actually run by big corporations or organizations, though this doesn't surprise me at all.

June 10, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDenise

I thought this was going to be about "mom's against "cooties"" aka chlorine. :(

June 11, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterdeanna

Watch out for those guys - I wrote a little blog post about natural cleaning methods on my blog, said some really bland things about how chlorine bleach is not good for the environment, and got an EMAIL from the Clorox company pointing me to information saying that actually bleach is great for you (ha) and that you need it to fight MRSA in your home.

Hello, my blog is very small-time! What do they care about little ol' me?? Amazing that they would bother sending me an email. I'll be curious to see if you get one now! CREEPY.

You can find the whole saga here - http://inderlovesfolkart.blogspot.com/2011/04/happy-earth-day-i-got-email-from-clorox.html

June 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterInder

WOW! That's awfully telling, isn't it? Thanks for digging this up. I would have just ignored the ad & walked away. Maybe I should start googling sponsors of ads I think are lame.

June 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDana K

Is it a measure of just how cynical I have become that it didn't surprise me in the least that when you started peeling back the layers on this onion that corporate money spilled out?

June 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCarol

I got the same press release, and before I deleted it I noticed that they advised disinfecting with a simple water and bleach solution. So now it all comes clear.

June 12, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAmber

So their PR sucks as bad as their product, huh? Next time they'll maybe do a little research before sending out their marketing materials. Maybe they should just buy a list from the McDonalds people.

June 13, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterkarengreeners

Ugh, crap crapitty crap. Makes me wanna poke someone in the eye! :)

June 13, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDesiree Fawn

Is this for real? What a joke!

June 16, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSommer @greenmom

[...] campaign, “Moms against Cooties”?  It cracks me up; I thought it was a joke when I first read PhD in Parenting. Really, a website that has posters sponsored by the chemical industry and moms are okay with this? [...]

What a cutesy name for something so sinister behind the scenes.

It is impossible to trust any campaign that seems to be grass roots. Even "viral" videos end up being made by large corporations.

Every time I see the Cloroz commercial soaking baby toys and bottles it makes me shake my head. Since when do we douse everything in our homes with bleach? I am probably the first to admit that I am more lax about germs than maybe I should be, but if my kids are going to gets sick it is going to happen. No amount of Purell of Bleach is going to prevent it.

Shame on them. And their PR person should check who she is sending things to ;)

I'm one of those all natural cleaning moms, i'm constantly cleaning and don't like germs. I make wise choices though, I have a son with reactive airway, means smoke, paint and harsh chemicals make it difficult for him to breathe, also since he has learning and behavioral issues I want to keep things as natural as possible because even at 7 he touches everything and then his face, so he might as well just lick everything. So for me I use Vinegar or vinegar and water solutions everywhere and I'm sure in their cover your home in bleach campaign they never mention the harmful gasses that will be created when I mix the special bleach with my safe vinegar... I will stick with my vinegar, thanks anyways!

June 17, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJenifer

As an infection control professional I will be the first to admit that there are times when disinfection is necessary, especially in institutional and healthcare settings. However, in the home it really isn't necessary except if someone is sick and you're trying not to pass it to others, or after working with raw meat/ eggs. I use soap and water or vinegar and water around the house 95 percent of the time and that's more than sufficient.

June 17, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLisa

Or a dash of clorox in the eye. LOL

June 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKristi

My son breaks out from head to toe if I use bleach in his laundry or 'disinfect' say his high chair. I am new to all this and am not surprised how low these companies are going.

June 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKristi

I only use mild cleaners in my home, NEVER bleach. And I never use hand sanitizer either. My RE( reproductive endocrinologist) told all his patients not to use it because it can mess with your hormones. I would certainly never rub it all over my growing child's hands. Soap is just fine.

June 23, 2011 | Unregistered Commentercelia

[...] But the piece I find most intriguing and deceptive, as also pointed out by Annie over at Phd in Parenting, is that the chlorine industry has completely hidden the fact that they are driving this campaign. [...]

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