Washington, D.C. – February 18, 2019 – The American Cleaning Institute (ACI) and detergent manufacturers are encouraged by the positive trend of multiyear efforts helping millions of people use liquid laundry packets safely. The data show significant reductions in incident rates across all measures. We will continue our efforts to ensure safe product use and to reduce the rate of young children’s exposures associated with liquid laundry packets even further.
Our actions have been impactful. Progress is demonstrated two-fold according to the ASTM liquid laundry packets study comparing exposures from 2012/13 to 2017. Based on the greater availability of liquid laundry packets, there has been a sustained downward trend in the rate of unintended exposures – a 53% decrease from 2012 to 2017. Further, nearly one-in-five of the accidental exposures result in no symptom classification, and when accidents do happen, the health impact is significantly decreased.
A safety standard was developed by a multi-stakeholder group working through the standards-setting body ASTM International. The group dictated a set of package and product design interventions and labeling changes, which manufacturers have put in place to lead to the decline of unintended exposures and keep children safe. These include:
- Label features such as safety icons and warning information
- Package features like zips that require greater dexterity to open or caps that necessitate force greater than a child is capable of generating to open
- Packet features that include delayed dissolution and bitter-tasting film
Accidents with liquid laundry packets can be prevented. Efforts to increase awareness of safe use of liquid laundry packs are working.
In addition to changes put into place by manufacturers, ACI's Packets Up! Campaign (www.packetsup.org) continues to educate and motivate parents to keep liquid laundry packets up and out of reach of small children through proper handling and storage. In 2018, the campaign reached parents and caregivers across the nation through ongoing and extensive awareness and education efforts including:
- Nationwide distribution of Packets Up! Public Service Announcement
- Social media engagement and digital events directly engaging parents on the subject
- Traditional media outreach to drive Packets Up! visibility nationally and regionally
- Parenting/lifestyle blogger posts to tap influential networks
- Local market family-focused event visibility for one-on-one interaction and education
For those who care for individuals showing the signs or symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia, all cleaning products, including laundry detergents, should be stored in a locked cabinet or a closet. For more information, view our safety tips for caregivers on the ACI website: www.cleaninginstitute.org/caregiver-tips/.
ACI and our detergent manufacturer members look forward to continuing the collaborative process to keep children safe as well as adults living with Alzheimer’s disease and/or other forms of dementia and we are proud of the continued progress made in reducing exposures.
The American Cleaning Institute® (ACI – www.cleaninginstitute.org) is the Home of the U.S. Cleaning Products Industry® and represents the $60 billion U.S. cleaning product supply chain. ACI members include the manufacturers and formulators of soaps, detergents, and general cleaning products used in household, commercial, industrial and institutional settings; companies that supply ingredients and finished packaging for these products; and chemical distributors. ACI serves the growth and innovation of the U.S. cleaning products industry by advancing the health and quality of life of people and protecting our planet. ACI achieves this through a continuous commitment to sound science and being a credible voice for the cleaning products industry.