In order to understand the root causes for accidental exposures to detergent capsules especially involving young children and building on a commitment made as part of the Product Stewardship Programme launched in 2012
partnered with five Poison Control Centres (PCCs) to conduct a qualitative ‘accidentology’ research study. The PCCs are based in Dublin (IE), Göttingen (DE), Milan (IT), Prague (CZ) and Utrecht (NL). They serve a combined population of approximately 90 million inhabitants. The study scope covered all detergent capsules (laundry, dishwasher and others) contained in a water-soluble film. Over a 6-month period, starting in autumn 2014, details of incident circumstances of 401 cases were systematically collected. Most accidental exposures (82%) involved liquid laundry capsules, while 16% of cases involved automatic dishwashing (ADW) capsules.
The study shows that 66% of incidents involved capsules or packs that were directly accessible to a child i.e. capsules or packs not safely stored. In 44% of cases, the exposed child managed to take a capsule from a container.