Household cleaning product-related ocular exposures reported to the United States poison control centres

Abstract

Background/objectives

To investigate ocular exposures associated with household cleaning products in the United States.

Subjects/methods

A retrospective analysis of ocular exposures associated with household cleaning products was conducted using data from the National Poison Data System from 2000 through 2016.

Results

From January 2000 through December 2016, poison control centres in the United States received 319,508 calls for household cleaning product-related ocular exposures, averaging 18,795 exposures annually. The annual frequency of exposures decreased significantly by 28.8% during the study period. The rate of exposures per 100,000 US residents was 28.4 among young children (<6 years), 4.8 among older children (6–12 years), 4.2 among teenagers (13–19 years), and 4.2 among adults (≥20 years); children 2 years old had the highest rate of exposure (62.8). Bleaches (25.9%), wall/floor/tile cleaners (13.4%), disinfectants (10.8%), laundry detergents (6.1%), and glass cleaners (5.3%) were the non-miscellaneous product subcategories most commonly associated with ocular exposures. The product subcategories associated with the greatest proportion of major medical outcomes were drain cleaners (1.4%), oven cleaners (1.1%), and automatic dishwasher detergents (0.4%).

Conclusions

On average, the United States poison control centres received approximately two reports of household cleaning product-related ocular exposures every hour during the 17-year study period. Although the annual number and rate of exposures declined during this time, the number of these exposures remains high, especially among young children, underscoring the need for additional prevention efforts. Contrary to the overall trend, ocular exposures to laundry detergent packets have increased significantly and merit special preventive action.

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Correspondence to Gary A. Smith.

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Kamboj, A., Spiller, H.A., Casavant, M.J. et al. Household cleaning product-related ocular exposures reported to the United States poison control centres. Eye (2019). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41433-019-0691-9

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