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Toxicity of household products in the UK [Abstract]

Williams, H., Bateman, D. N., Thomas, S. H. L., Thompson, John Paul and Vale, J. A. 2011. Toxicity of household products in the UK [Abstract]. Clinical Toxicology 49 (3) , p. 254. 10.3109/15563650.2011.568269

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Objective: To ascertain the toxicity of current UK household products. Methods: Between 1 March 2008 and 30 April 2009 the UK National Poisons Information Service collected prospectively 5939 telephone enquiries relating to household products, approximately 12% of all telephone enquiries. Results: The majority of enquiries (65.5%) concerned children five years of age or less and were received predominantly from hospitals (32.1%), general practitioners (29.8%) and NHS Direct/NHS 24 (28.5%). The majority of exposures occurred at home (97.6%); most exposures were accidental (93.6%). Liquid detergent capsules were most commonly involved (n = 647) followed by bleach (n = 473), multipurpose cleaners (n = 408), descalers (n = 397) and disinfectant/antiseptic/sanitiser liquids (n = 270). Intentional exposures were more likely to involve bleaches, multipurpose cleaners and disinfectant/antiseptic/sanitiser liquids. Exposure to household products occurred mainly as a result of ingestion (75.8%), with eye contact (8.4%), inhalation (6.9%) and skin contact (3.1%) being less common; 5.1% of enquiries involved multiple routes of exposure. The most commonly reported features were vomiting (ingestion), pain (eye contact), dyspnoea (inhalation) and burn (skin contact). In 5840 of 5939 enquiries the Poisoning Severity Score was known at the time of the enquiry. The majority of patients (70.5%) were asymptomatic, 28.0% had developed minor features, 75 patients had developed moderate features and nine patients had developed serious features (PSS 3). Five of these nine patients made a complete recovery, though two developed severe complications and two others died from poisoning with drain cleaner and PVC solvent cleaner; the outcome in two is unknown. Conclusions: Household product exposures are common in the UK, in other parts of Europe1 and in the US2, though they rarely result in severe sequelae.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Medicine
Subjects: R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
Additional Information: 2011 International Congress of the European Association of Poisons Centres and Clinical Toxicologists, 24?27 May 2011, Dubrovnik, Croatia
Publisher: Informa Healthcare
ISSN: 1556-3650
Last Modified: 05 Mar 2022 10:25

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