The American Cleaning Institute (ACI)

New Data Show Continued Decrease of Children’s Exposures to Liquid Laundry Packets


incident rate graph

Data released at a meeting of the standard setting body ASTM International showed the continuing positive impact of its liquid laundry packets voluntary safety standard.

The standard aims to decrease incidents among children under the age of six related to liquid laundry packets. An independent study reported a 61% decrease in incident rates for 2018, compared to 2012-13, and the lowest absolute number of incidents since measurement began in 2012-13, continuing a three-year downward trend since 2015.

The ASTM subcommittee on liquid laundry packets met on July 16 in Washington, D.C. to review the independently collected and analyzed data from 2018. 

The popularity of liquid laundry packets has dramatically increased since their mass-market introduction in 2012. After just seven years, millions of United States households choose this product form for their laundry and use it safely. 

Even as the popularity of the product increases, a study done by Rocky Mountain Poison and Drug Safety reported an overall 61 percent decrease in the sales-adjusted rate of exposures among children under six years old (from 2012-13 to 2018). It also identified a 95 percent decrease in severe accidents in the same population.1 

The absolute number of incidents declined for the third consecutive year in 2018, and fell below the 2012-13 baseline period’s number of incidents for the first time. The data reveal that all incident indications through 2018 showed decreases: absolute numbers as well as rates adjusted for population or sales, including severe cases and cases requiring treatment at a health care facility. 

The ASTM liquid laundry packets voluntary standard, which was finalized in late 2015, contains three major types of incident prevention interventions that are intended to reduce accidental exposure to liquid laundry packets. The industry has adjusted the product and packaging features of their products to align with these interventions and continues to educate on how to use the product safely. 

“We are proud that swift, consistent actions and outreach on preventing accidental exposures to liquid laundry packet incident are making a difference,” said Melissa Hockstad, President and CEO of the American Cleaning Institute. “Keeping young children safe continues to be our top priority.” 

Through the collaborative standard-setting process administered by ASTM International, a variety of parties – ACI and its detergent manufacturer members, regulators, industry leaders, and consumer advocates – have worked with a common mission: to significantly decrease accidents with liquid laundry packets among young children. 

Additionally, ACI’s Packets Up campaign ( showcases important laundry safety reminders for parents and caregivers throughout the year and signifies the unwavering commitment by manufacturers of liquid laundry packets to help consumers create healthy and effective laundry habits, while ensuring a safe home environment for their families.

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1Source: Rocky Mountain Poison & Drug Center. Evaluation of Liquid Laundry Detergent Packet Exposures. July 2019.

About The American Cleaning Institute® - (ACI – 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.