7 On Your Side:Debunking Swiffer Hoax - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

9/18/06

7 On Your Side:Debunking Swiffer Hoax

You're mopping the floor with your Swiffer Wet Jet and your pet happens to walk across the floor, it licks its paws and next thing you know it dies of liver failure and has to be put down.  

That's the synopsis of this email and we're about to tell you why it's proven to be completely unfounded. 

The confusion starts when the bogus email goes on to say the dog's owner called the company to find out what the contents of the cleaning agent are and found out antifreeze is one of the ingredients.

ASPCA's Animal Poison Control Center got wind of the email as well and conducted a product safety assessment. 

"Proctor and Gamble has worked with us as far as providing us with detailed ingredient information so that we can make an appropriate assessment," says Dana Farbman.

Swiffer's contents include propylene glycol n-propyl ether or propylene glycol n-butyl ether safe to use around pets when following label directions.

Anti-freeze is known as ethylene glycol it sounds similar to the ingredients in Swiffer, but UT Health Center's Dr. Torey Nalbone, a former toxicologist, says they're not the same!

"It is not antifreeze. It's not only structurally different, it's chemically different and since it's chemically different the body reacts differently too," says Dr. Nalbone.

Still not convinced?? Maybe you will be, knowing what makes up a majority of Swiffer's contents. 

"Almost 90% of the Swiffer product is water," Dr. Nalbone confirms.

So while this email convinced some the Swiffer Wet Jet poisoned a person's pet, the only real casualty here is the fact this rumor has been debunked.

Christine Nelson reporting. cnelson@kltv.com

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