Denver, CO – A medical researcher from Denver, Colorado-based National Jewish Hospital has issued statements that directly contradict health claims made by cleaning-products giant Clorox Corporation. National Jewish Hospital promotes itself as the “Global Leader in Immunological Research.”
Clorox Corp., with $4.1 billion in revenues, is the manufacturer of Clorox bleach and numerous other brands. Recently, Clorox has been promoting its flagship bathroom cleaning product – Tilex Mold and Mildew — with a series of heavily rotated humorous television ads that feature a homeowner screaming and running out of the house with the tagline: “All homes have mold.” In contrast to the tone of this, on the Tilex website there is reference to the potential health dangers of exposure to certain types of mold, including symptoms of lung tissue damage and memory loss.
However, in a December 9, 2004 statement made in a Jefferson County, CO District Court deposition for a case concerning toxic mold damages claimed by a Denver woman (Lake vs. Village Homes, Case No. 03CV4227, Division 10), National Jewish researcher Dr. Karin Pacheco appeared to discredit the Tilex claims. Dr. Pacheco’s qualifications as an expert witness relate to her ongoing medical study of the allergic potential of mold. While under oath, Dr. Pacheco made reference to established links of mold to diseases like asthma, but added that “she wasn’t convinced that mold exposure can cause wider, long-term illnesses.”
Pacheco’s statements are noteworthy, as sources have discovered that funding for at least part of her work comes directly from grants from the Clorox Corporation itself. In the spring of 2004, National Jewish conducted a Clorox-sponsored research study on the allergic effects of mold that had been killed by bleach. The study was conducted by Dr. Pacheco and Lee Newman, MD. Extracts of the mold Aspergillus Fumigatus, a notorious fungi that has been implicated in cases of lung tissue damage and memory loss among other symptoms, was administered to human subjects via skin pricks.
Watchdog groups are calling the discrepancy on the public messaging into question. Jonathan Lee Wright, Director of the Fungal Disease Resource Center, Inc, a Denver, Colorado-based nonprofit supporting victims of toxic mold, had this to say. “While we didn’t find the commercial to be too funny, we support the warning that the Clorox Corporation is issuing to the public here. There is now an overwhelming amount of scientific data that supports a link of mold exposures to serious illness,” Wright commented. “That there is such conflicting information coming out of a well-respected organization like National Jewish is alarming.”
Added Wright, “We are calling for a formal clarification of the position of National Jewish Hospital on whether they support the advertising of one of their corporate grantors — Clorox corporation — or not.” Readers can find more information on the subject provided by the Fungal Disease Resource Center. – Jonathan Lee Wright; Fungal Disease Resource Center.
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