IMPACT OF PRODUCT SAFETY CHANGES ON ACCIDENTAL EXPOSURES TO LIQUID LAUNDRY PACKETS IN CHILDREN
Kate M. Reynolds, Randy I. Burnham, Heather Delva-Clark, Jody L. Green & Richard C. Dart
Objectives: To evaluate the impact of the ASTM International (formerly American Society of Testing Materials) safety standard and associated product safety changes on accidental exposures to liquid laundry packets (LLPs) in children.
Methods: The National Poison Data System was queried for reports of accidental exposures to LLPs in children < 6 years old received from 01 July 2012 to 31 December 2018. In 2014, ASTM International began developing a standard specifying voluntary product changes to reduce the risk of LLP exposures in young children. Product changes were made between 2013 and 2016 Exposures were grouped into baseline, transition, and post periods based on the timing of the standard’s implementation. Exposure counts and sales adjusted rates were compared between the baseline and post period for all exposures and exposures involving healthcare facility (HCF) evaluation, HCF admission, and major medical outcomes.
Results: A total of 73,942 accidental exposures in children <6 years old were reported (baseline: 10,229, 13.8%; transition: 43,507, 58.8%; post: 20,206, 27.3%). The percentage of exposures involving HCF evaluation (41.5% to 33.8%), HCF admission (4.5% to 1.9%), and major medical outcomes (0.6% to 0.1%) decreased from the baseline to post period. Sales adjusted rates of all exposures decreased 57.4% (4.920–2.094 exposures/1 million packets sold). Decreases also occurred in HCF evaluations (65.0% decrease; 2.026–0.708 exposures/1 million packets sold), HCF admissions (81.4% decrease; 0.218–0.041 exposures/1 million packets sold), and major medical outcomes (90.9% decrease; 0.030–0.003 exposures/1 million packets sold).
Conclusions: The morbidity of accidental exposures to LLPs in children decreased substantially following implementation of the ASTM International safety standard. Ongoing monitoring should be performed to determine if additional safety measures are required.