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Are Swif­fer Wet Pads Safe For Babies and Pets? The Inter­net has giv­en us a fan­tas­tic tech­no­log­i­cal rev­o­lu­tion that has impact­ed our lives in so many ways, and it’s impos­si­ble to mea­sure them all. Thanks to search engines that find data and facts in a split sec­ond, a wealth of knowl­edge are at our fin­ger­tips. And social media is a won­der­ful tool for stay­ing con­nect­ed to friends and fam­i­ly. Check­ing our email and Face­book accounts each day helps us stay cur­rent with what’s hap­pen­ing in our cir­cle, even with those loved ones who live far away. These tools let us stay on top of events hap­pen­ing in our fam­i­lies and broad­er issues fac­ing the world at large. But social media and oth­er online plat­forms can have a dark­er edge some­times. Because they aren’t reg­u­lat­ed and mon­i­tored in the way tra­di­tion­al news sources are, dig­i­tal plat­forms can pro­mote mis­in­for­ma­tion. Some­times these errors aren’t inten­tion­al, but they can harm a per­son or com­pa­ny’s rep­u­ta­tion. And when a per­son or com­pa­ny is tar­get­ed, it can take a lot of time and effort to dis­pel the rumour and gets the facts out to the public. And so is the case with Proc­ter & Gam­ble (P&G), mak­ers of the pop­u­lar Swif­fer line of clean­ing prod­ucts and a host of oth­er con­sumer goods. Swif­fer pads are con­ve­nient wipes that adhere to the bot­tom of a Swif­fer Jet mop, let­ting users make quick work of dirty and stained kitchen floors. Some­how, these prod­ucts have become the tar­get of neg­a­tive online mes­sages that imply they are bad for chil­dren and pets. One post a few years ago went so far as to say a dog that sim­ply walked across a fresh, Swif­fer-mopped floor dropped dead from the tox­ins in the pad. And while it’s easy to dis­miss these anec­dotes as mere urban leg­ends, if even one per­son believes the sto­ry and pass­es it along, the dam­age is done. A com­pa­ny’s cred­i­bil­i­ty is harmed if even one con­sumer thinks its prod­ucts are unsafe for their fam­i­ly. What is the extent of the dam­age if an entire com­mu­ni­ty believes the falsehood? Where do these ideas gen­er­al­ly come from, specif­i­cal­ly this one about Swif­fer Jet pads? And most impor­tant­ly – is there any valid­i­ty in them? The answer to the first ques­tion is no one is quite sure how these rumours start because it is impos­si­ble to trace them to one source, but they ampli­fy and mush­room on ques­tion­able Inter­net sites, and soon peo­ple start repost­ing these false narratives. The answer to the sec­ond ques­tion – Is Swif­fer pads harm­ful in any way? – is: absolute­ly not. Here at seizeyourlifetoday.com, we decid­ed to inves­ti­gate this online rumour and get to the facts of the matter. It’s worth not­ing that this is not the first or only time some­one has paint­ed a metaphor­i­cal bulls­eye on the com­pa­ny’s rep­u­ta­tion and tried to sul­ly it. Years ago, in the ear­ly 1980s – before the Inter­net allowed these the­o­ries to spread – some­one decid­ed that the logo of P&G, which includ­ed a man in the moon look­ing at 13 stars, meant that the com­pa­ny was in league with the Church of Satan. In fact, the 13 stars were intend­ed to reflect Amer­i­ca’s 13 orig­i­nal colonies, accord­ing to com­pa­ny lit­er­a­ture. But that fact did­n’t stop the fren­zy or rumours from tak­ing hold. At the time, pan­ic over movies like “The Exor­cist” was peak­ing, and some folks seemed to see dev­il wor­ship­pers every­where. Unfor­tu­nate­ly, P&G became a tar­get. Scads of news­pa­per and mag­a­zine arti­cles debunked the rumour, but it per­sist­ed for a sur­pris­ing­ly long time, con­sid­er­ing there was no Inter­net yet to help spread the non­sense. Even the actu­al pres­i­dent of the real Church of Satan say­ing pub­licly the logo did not rep­re­sent his church and was in no way con­nect­ed to the orga­ni­za­tion did­n’t help. Back then, much like today, facts and accu­ra­cy seemed not to mat­ter when it came to a juicy sto­ry. P&G spent decades fight­ing this rumour, which stuck like glue to the com­pa­ny’s reputation. are swiffer wet pads safe for babies and pets l innovative weight loss pills Lat­er, the com­pa­ny’s air fresh­en­ing prod­uct Febreeze was tar­get­ed. Claims cir­cu­lat­ed online that Febreeze con­tained “tox­ic” zinc chlo­ride. It could kill a pet that sim­ply walked onto a car­pet that had been recent­ly sprayed by the air fresh­en­er. Again, the rumour was proven by sci­en­tists to be utter non­sense. By then, how­ev­er, the Inter­net was avail­able to folks look­ing to spread base­less claims like these, and spread it they did. Whether they did it as a kind of bad joke or because they had mis­guid­ed con­cerns about the prod­uct is beside the point. P&G had to spend time and mon­ey com­bat­ing the mis­in­for­ma­tion through emails to cus­tomers, news­pa­per and blog arti­cles, adver­tise­ments and oth­er media out­lets just to set the record straight. More recent­ly, the Swif­fer Jet’s moist pads have earned the atten­tion of fear-mon­ger­ing rumour spread­ers. Peo­ple have been pick­ing on P&G prod­ucts for decades, it seems, and each time the rumours are proven false under the scruti­ny of sol­id sci­ence. This sto­ry about Swif­fer Jet pads has cir­cu­lat­ed since 2004, rear­ing its head online from time to time, then fad­ing into the ether as some oth­er rumour gains trac­tion and goes viral. Let’s set the record straight once again: Swif­fer Jet mois­ture pads are not tox­ic to chil­dren and pets in any way whatsoever. The ingre­di­ent in them that seems to set the Inter­net ablaze is a chem­i­cal called “propy­lene gly­col n‑propyl ether.” A mouth­ful to pro­nounce, for sure, like so many names of chemicals. Whomev­er start­ed the rumour may have con­fused this chem­i­cal with anoth­er one called “eth­yl­ene gly­col,” which is com­mon­ly found in some anti-freeze. The lat­ter chem­i­cal is indeed poi­so­nous to pets, and occa­sion­al­ly pets have died after lick­ing up anti-freeze acci­den­tal­ly spilled by car own­ers or mechanics. But even if propy­lene gly­col n‑propyl ether were tox­ic – and it is not — Swif­fer Jet mois­ture pads con­tain only four per­cent of it; their damp­ness comes from water. In oth­er words, the chem­i­cal is sub­stan­tial­ly dilut­ed. Even the Amer­i­can Soci­ety For The Pre­ven­tion of Cru­el­ty to Ani­mals (ASPCA) came out in defense of P&G in 2018, say­ing that the rumours on social media about Swif­fer pads harm­ing pets were, in a word, nonsense. While P&G has spent years coun­ter­mand­ing these false nar­ra­tives, a larg­er ques­tion needs to be asked. Why do some folks take a lit­tle knowl­edge and turn it into some­thing calami­tous? The two chem­i­cal names may sound a lit­tle alike, but they are entire­ly dif­fer­ent in struc­ture and tox­i­c­i­ty. Just because both chem­i­cal names con­tain the word, “gly­col” does­n’t mean they share tox­i­c­i­ty. Nor does it mean they can be used inter­change­ably. But some­where, some­how, some­one saw or read those terms and decid­ed Swif­fer pads must con­tain poi­so­nous aspects like some anti-freeze does. And boy, has this rumour had trac­tion! This (and oth­er) sil­ly online mes­sages are best fought with good, cred­i­ble sci­ence and hard facts. It’s easy to over­re­act to a post sent by a friend sug­gest­ing you throw out your Swif­fer for your child’s safe­ty – who would­n’t want to err on the side of cau­tion? But because facts mat­ter, par­tic­u­lar­ly when it involves harm­ing a com­pa­ny’s oth­er­wise sol­id rep­u­ta­tion, you should “look before you leap.” Do some online research, and reas­sure your­self that the prod­uct – any prod­uct, real­ly – is not going to harm your fam­i­ly or pets. Per­haps most impor­tant­ly, don’t pass on the untrue post until you’ve looked into this yourself. It’s easy to become frus­trat­ed by mis­in­for­ma­tion, and sil­ly sto­ries found online. In real­i­ty, how­ev­er, false nar­ra­tives have cir­cu­lat­ed almost since the inven­tion of the print­ing press! For exam­ple, the term “fake news” is assumed to be a catch­phrase coined by 21st-cen­tu­ry politi­cians. In fact, it was first used in the 1890s regard­ing sen­sa­tion­al reports run­ning in news­pa­pers. A lit­tle dig­ging into ver­i­fi­able sources goes a long way toward learn­ing the truth behind out­landish claims. As for com­pa­nies and cor­po­ra­tions – they’ve been the tar­get of rumours and smear cam­paigns almost since the Indus­tri­al Rev­o­lu­tion. For­tu­nate­ly, these inci­dents don’t hap­pen too often, and com­pa­nies get past them by keep­ing cool heads and con­tin­u­ing to put truth­ful facts out in the pub­lic realm. What is impor­tant is that peo­ple think for them­selves and don’t over­re­act to out­landish sto­ries they read online or in print or hear at the local gro­cery store, for that mat­ter. Most of the time, these sto­ries are lit­tle more than urban leg­ends or even bald-faced lies. P&G has been the focus of at least three false sto­ries – the one about its logo, the one about Febreeze, and the Swif­fer Jet clean­ing pads. It’s hard not to feel a lit­tle bad for a com­pa­ny that sim­ply makes clean­ing prod­ucts, among many oth­er con­sumer goods. But offi­cials there com­bat rumours with good sci­ence and objec­tive facts, and those are the tac­tics that win this game every time.

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