Purdue University Extension educators receive ACI Clean and Healthy Families & Communities Award; honor recognizes outreach efforts that raise awareness of safe, effective uses of cleaning products

Washington, DC – Two Purdue University Extension educators were honored by the American Cleaning Institute® (ACI) for helping consumers learn the science behind cleaning products.

The Indiana-based educators, Mary Ann Lienhart Cross and Annetta Jones, received the 
Clean and Healthy Families & Communities Award at the National Extension Association of Family & Consumer Sciences (NEAFCS) Annual Session. The award recognizes NEAFCS members for innovative educational programs and outreach efforts that help families and individuals understand the link between clean homes and good health.

Mary Ann and Annetta’s education program, “The Science Behind Cleaning,” was aimed at helping consumers gain knowledge and understanding of:

  • the safe use of cleaning products.
  • cleaning product labels and the chemistry that makes cleaning products clean, sanitize, and disinfect. 
  • the pros and cons of mixing your own cleaning products.
  • reliable resources on the science behind cleaning.

The educators taught the program – based in part on materials developed by ACI – in eight counties to 270 participants, who in turn shared the information with 1150 consumers.

Mary Ann and Annetta reported that the most important knowledge gained by participants was to take the 
ACI Key Pledge to keep liquid laundry packets away from children, keep cleaning supplies away from children’s reach, and to read labels, follow directions and not mix cleaning products.

“The creative program designed by these educators reinforces the outreach efforts done by cleaning product manufacturers and by ACI to use cleaning products safely and effectively,” said Nancy Bock, ACI Senior Vice President, Education.

Both educators were presented with a $500 scholarship to attend the NEAFCS Annual Session where they were honored by ACI in front of an audience of Family and Consumer Science Professionals. Their program will be featured on the ACI website and in the upcoming issue of 
Cleaning Matters®, ACI’s bimonthly newsletter that reaches more than 7,000 educators and members of the press.

The Clean and Healthy Families & Communities Award recognizes programs that use ACI’s educational materials and demonstrate innovative outreach efforts that impact the local community while raising awareness of safe and effective uses of cleaning products.

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 (www.cleaninginstitute.org) and its members are dedicated to improving health and the quality of life through sustainable cleaning products and practices.