A new campaign, Moms Against Cooties, was recently launched with the goal of educat mothers and day care workers nationwide about the importance of proper disinfection in keeping children healthy.
From the campaign's press release:
Utilizing Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and FourSquare, the campaign will provide tips for properly disinfecting daycares while highlighting some of the risks of improper disinfection.
OK, I will let go of the fact that this campaign perpetuates the stereotype that only mothers are capable of cleaning their homes and caring for their children — that fathers can't be bothered with things like keeping their kids healthy. I will let this go, because the targets of this campaign are not nearly as important as its sponsors: the chemical industry.
Fellow blogger PhD in Parenting did a little sleuthing and discovered that the Water Quality and Health Council that brought us the Moms Against Cooties campaign is actually an arm of the chlorine industry.
"Who We Are: 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."
It's no surprise that these chemical companies would launch a fear-based campaign to try to convince parents that the only way to keep kids healthy is by wiping everything down with chlorine. It's also no surprise that they would neglect to mention that the toxins in chlorine are more harmful to your child's health than a common cold, or that there are plenty of safer, healthy methods for getting rid of germs.
But what is surprising is that they thought they could launch this campaign without fully disclosing the sponsors in their press release or on the Moms Against Cooties website. That they thought the "moms" who they are targeting wouldn't be smart enough to figure this out.
Boy, were they wrong.