Objective To evaluate the impact of the voluntary safety standard for liquid laundry packets on the rate of child exposures reported to Poison Control Centers in the US.
Methods The analysis was based on an interrupted time series design. The voluntary safety standard for laundry packets was published at the end of 2015. Data on reported liquid laundry packet exposures involving children under age 6 years were collected for the July 2012 through December 2017 study period. A negative binomial multiple regression model for rate data was used to quantify the impact of the voluntary standard on (1) the rate of total reported exposures and (2) the rate of reported exposures that were medically treated. The analysis controlled for laundry packet sales, time trends and seasonal variations in reported exposures.
Results The voluntary safety standard was associated with a 28.6% reduction in the rate of total reported exposures and a 36.8% reduction in the rate of medically treated exposures. The analysis also provides some evidence that these estimated reductions may underestimate overall reductions in the rate of reported exposures if pre-standard packaging improvements and possible caregiver behavioural responses to laundry packet hazard warnings are considered.
Conclusions The analysis suggests that the requirements of the voluntary standard have effectively reduced the rate of injury involving liquid laundry packets.
- public health
- statistical issues
Data availability statement
Data are available upon reasonable request. The data used in this analysis were collected and made available by Rocky Mountain Poison & Drug Safety, located in Denver, Colorado.
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Contributors I evaluated the data, conducted the statistical analysis and prepared the manuscript.
Funding The author has not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.
Disclaimer The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the US Consumer Product Safety Commission. Because the article was written in the author’s official capacity, it is in the public domain and may be freely copied.
Competing interests None declared.
Patient and public involvement Patients and/or the public were not involved in the design, or conduct, or reporting or dissemination plans of this research.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.