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Ojo con el cloro – Raising awareness about using bleach safely

Illustration of Super-Mom cleaning the kitchen safely with bleach

Keeping families safe from harmful germs has always been important. Now, more than ever, disinfecting is top of mind for many families. Many people are turning to harsh chemicals, like bleach, to rid their homes of germs like the coronavirus. 

Bleach is a powerful disinfectant that can help reduce the spread of illnesses like COVID-19. The downside is that bleach can cause headaches and irritation of the skin, eyes, and respiratory tract if misused. Furthermore, it can be fatal if swallowed. The Washington Poison Center reported a 62 percent increase in the misuse of bleach during the first 161 days of 2020 (January 1 to June 9) compared to the same period last year. 

This November, the Haz Waste Program is launching a Spanish-language campaign, “Ojo con el cloro” (be careful with bleach), to raise awareness about using bleach safely. It features a “super mom” who is on a mission to fight germs in her home. She offers viewers some simple advice – like diluting bleach with water and never mixing cleaning products – to make using bleach safer. The campaign will be broadcast on television, social media, and radio channels serving the Latino community and through community partners like St. Vincent de Paul. Audiences will be encouraged to visit the “Ojo con el cloro” webpage to view in-language resources including a video and print guide for cleaning and disinfecting safely with bleach. 

The “Ojo con el cloro” awareness campaign is the product of three years of research working with community groups to understand Spanish-speaking communities’ attitudes and habits towards cleaning practices. By sharing this campaign, we hope to help make disinfecting safer for King County families. 

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