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Household cleaner poisonings on the decline: study

August 5, 2010

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The rate of pediatric injuries associated with household cleaning products decreased by 46 percent between 1990 and 2006, finds a new study from the Center for Injury Research and Policy of the Research Institute at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, OH.

An estimated 267,269 children younger than 6 were treated in hospital emergency rooms for injuries related to household cleaning products during the 16-year study period, with nearly 12,000 injured in 2006 alone. Children 1-3 years old accounted for 72 percent of the injuries. Ingestion was the cause of poisoning 62.7 percent of the time, followed by contact, which occurred in approximately one-third of cases. Bleach was associated with 37.1 percent of poisonings.

Researchers noted that although the rate of poisoning by substances stored in bottles or original containers decreased during the study period, the rate of injuries related to substances stored in spray bottles remained consistent at 40.1 percent.

The study is scheduled for publication in the September issue of the journal Pediatrics.

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