The American Cleaning Institute (ACI)

American Cleaning Institute Response - Study Claiming Cleaning Products Contributing to Overweight Children


Washington, D.C. – September 17, 2018 – The American Cleaning Institute (ACI) issued the following statement in response to a study and related analysis claiming that common household cleaners and disinfectants may be contributing to the risk of children being overweight. The study in question was published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal

ACI’s statement may be attributed to Richard Sedlak, ACI Executive Vice President, Technical & International Affairs, and co-author of the book, Against Disease: The Impact of Hygiene and Cleanliness on Health

"We are disappointed at the sensational claims made by the researchers in this study. 

"Proper use of household cleaners and disinfectants is a contributor to infection control and healthy homes. These products are trusted by families to effectively clean, sanitize and disinfect areas of their homes, reducing opportunities for children at these young ages to suffer significant illnesses. This point was one of many overlooked factors in the reported study. 

"Based on our scientific and technical review, the assumptions made by the researchers don’t really hold up. There were notable limitations in the research, as reported by the Journal’s editors, along with a study design that ignored all interventions in the children’s lives between 3 months and 3 years of age, and it did not account for 'the timing of food introduction and child diet.' 

"Coming off a deadly flu season in 2017-18, it is a crucial reminder that proper use of EPA-registered disinfectants plays an important role in helping prevent the spread of flu. As the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advises on its website: "Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs like flu."

Consumers can find useful, science-based information on the proper use of cleaners and disinfectants on ACI’s website, /clean_living_at_home/.

The American Cleaning Institute® (ACI – is the Home of the U.S. Cleaning Products Industry® and represents the $30 billion U.S. cleaning products market.  ACI members include the formulators of soaps, detergents, and general cleaning products used in household, commercial, industrial and institutional settings; companies that supply ingredients and finished packaging for these products; and oleochemical producers.  ACI ( and its members are dedicated to improving health and the quality of life through sustainable cleaning products and practices.