New study examines trends in liquid laundry detergent packet exposures among young children


A brand new research performed by researchers on the Heart for Damage Analysis and Coverage of the Abigail Wexner Analysis Institute at Nationwide Kids’s Hospital and the Central Ohio Poison Heart investigated tendencies in calls to poison facilities throughout the nation for exposures to liquid laundry detergent packets. The research investigators recognized declines within the quantity, charge and severity of liquid laundry detergent packet exposures amongst kids youthful than 6 years. Nevertheless, the publicity burden remained excessive. Moreover, exposures have elevated amongst older kids, teenagers and adults.

The research, printed in Medical Toxicology, discovered that in the latest three years of the research, U.S. poison facilities obtained 36,279 calls associated to liquid laundry detergent packet exposures – a mean of 1 name each 44 minutes. Most exposures concerned kids youthful than 6 years (87%), a single substance (97%) or occurred at a residence (99%). Roughly 6% of single-substance exposures resulted in critical medical outcomes. Throughout the research interval, there have been 9 deaths related to the ingestion of laundry detergent packets. All 9 fatalities concerned adults, seven of whom had been older than 70 years.

Based on earlier analysis, in an effort to scale back unintentional exposures to the contents of liquid laundry detergent packets, ASTM printed a voluntary Normal Security Specification for Liquid Laundry Packets in 2015, however some specialists really feel it didn’t go far sufficient. Latest updates to the usual in March 2022 didn’t considerably change its scope. A number of alternatives exist to strengthen the ASTM customary, together with requiring Poison Prevention Packaging Act-compliant packaging or adopting extra “layers of safety,” akin to particular person packaging of every laundry packet.

The voluntary customary, public consciousness campaigns, and product and packaging adjustments to-date have improved the security of those merchandise, however a excessive variety of kids are nonetheless uncovered every year. There’s nonetheless room for enchancment.”

Christopher Gaw, MD, senior writer of the research, emergency drugs doctor and college of the Heart for Damage Analysis and Coverage at Nationwide Kids’s

One motive for the less-than-expected decline in exposures amongst younger kids is probably going as a result of the voluntary security customary permits producers to satisfy the requirement for baby resistant containers in six other ways fairly than requiring them to adapt to the Poison Prevention Packaging Act (PPPA) of 1970, which has been proven to be extremely efficient in stopping baby entry to poisons. “Requiring that each one liquid laundry detergent packet packaging be PPPA-compliant could be an necessary subsequent step in lowering baby entry to those merchandise,” stated Gary Smith, MD, DrPH, co-author of the research and director of the Heart for Damage Analysis and Coverage at Nationwide Kids’s. “As well as, every laundry packet ought to be individually wrapped with child-resistant packaging, which would supply necessary layers of safety for this extremely poisonous product.”

Liquid laundry detergent packets are extra poisonous than conventional liquid and powder laundry detergents. The explanations for this elevated toxicity usually are not fully understood, and additional analysis is required to find out the right way to make packet contents much less poisonous. Such reformulation would scale back the severity of exposures to liquid laundry detergent packets.

Pediatricians and different healthcare suppliers ought to proceed to counsel sufferers and their households in regards to the hazards of laundry detergent packet exposures and the significance of secure storage practices. Specialists advocate that caregivers to kids youthful than 6 years outdated and adults with a historical past of dementia, Alzheimer’s illness or developmental incapacity use conventional laundry detergents as an alternative of packets.

“Many households do not understand how poisonous these extremely concentrated laundry detergent packets will be,” stated Dr. Gaw. “When you’ve got younger kids or susceptible adults in your house, utilizing conventional laundry detergents is a safer different.”

Knowledge for this research had been obtained from the Nationwide Poison Knowledge System (NPDS), which is maintained by America’s Poison Facilities, previously the American Affiliation of Poison Management Facilities (AAPCC). Poison facilities obtain telephone calls by means of the nationwide Poison Assist Line (1-800-222-1222) and doc details about the product, route of publicity, particular person uncovered, publicity situation, and different information, that are reported to the NPDS.


Journal reference:

Zhang, A. M., et al. (2023). Longitudinal tendencies in liquid laundry detergent packet exposures: 2014–2022. Medical Toxicology.

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