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Pediatrics. 2010 Sep;126(3):509-16. doi: 10.1542/peds.2009-3392. Epub 2010 Aug 2.

Household cleaning product-related injuries treated in US emergency departments in 1990-2006.

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Center for Injury Research and Policy, Research Institute at Nationwide Children's Hospital, Department of Pediatrics, College of Medicine, Ohio State University, 700 Children's Dr, Columbus, OH 43205, USA.



The goal was to examine comprehensively the patterns and trends of household cleaning product-related injuries among children treated in US emergency departments.


Through use of the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System database, cases of unintentional, nonfatal, household cleaning product-related injuries were selected by using product codes for drain cleaners, ammonia, metal polishes/tarnish removers, turpentine, dishwasher detergents, acids, swimming pool chemicals, oven cleaners, pine oil cleaners/disinfectants, laundry soaps/detergents, toilet bowl products, abrasive cleaners, general-purpose household cleaners, noncosmetic bleaches, windshield wiper fluids, caustic agents, lye, wallpaper cleaners, room deodorizers/fresheners, spot removers, and dishwashing liquids. Products were categorized according to major toxic ingredients, mode of action, and exposure.


An estimated 267 269 children<or=5 years of age were treated in US emergency departments for household cleaning product-related injuries. The number of injuries attributable to household cleaning product exposure decreased 46.0% from 22 141 in 1990 to 11 964 in 2006. The product most-commonly associated with injury was bleach (37.1%). Children 1 to 3 years of age accounted for 72.0% of cases. The primary mechanism of injury was ingestion (62.7%). The most common source or container was spray-bottles (40.1%). Although rates of household cleaner-related injuries from regular bottles or original containers and kitchenware decreased during the study period, spray-bottle injury rates showed no decrease.


Although national rates of household cleaning product-related injuries in children decreased significantly over time, the number of injuries remains high.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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