CHAPTER 4: Hazardous Exposures to Liquid Laundry Detergents Capsules in Young Children

L. Settimi, E. Idahosa-Taylor, Stacey Wyke, F. Davanzo

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

    1 Citation (Scopus)


    Liquid laundry detergent capsules (LLDCs) are single-unit-dose detergents consisting of about 32-50 ml of a concentrated detergent mixture encased in a water-soluble membrane. LLDCs are usually brightly coloured and small in size making them very easy for young children to grab and investigate further by biting or squeezing, leading to the membrane bursting and exposure to the capsule contents with potentially harmful consequences. Case reports from paediatric departments and case series studies from European and USA Poison Control Centres (PCs) allowed recognition of LLDCs as an unexpected source of moderate- and high-severity injuries, particularly among young children and provided an informative basis to support the adoption of voluntary and legislative preventive measures to improve consumers' safety. Data reported in the available literature indicate that exposures to LLDCs are more hazardous than exposures to traditional laundry detergents. To address this, EU legislation now requires improvements to the packaging of LLDCs to prevent or minimise accidental exposures in children. Further efforts should be devoted to reducing the intrinsic toxicity of the content of LLDCs and their attractiveness to children.

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationChemical Health Threats
    Subtitle of host publicationAssessing and Alerting
    EditorsTom Gaulton, Samuel Collins, Raquel Duarte-Davidson, Stacey Wyke
    PublisherRoyal Society of Chemistry
    Number of pages12
    Publication statusPublished - 2019

    Publication series

    NameIssues in Toxicology
    ISSN (Print)1757-7179
    ISSN (Electronic)1757-7187

    Bibliographical note

    Funding Information:
    aIstituto Superiore di Sanità, via Giano della Bella 34, 00162, rome, Italy; bPublic Health England, Centre for radiation, Chemicals and Environmental Hazards, Public Health England, Harwell Science Park, Fermi Avenue, oX11 0rQ, UK; cASSt Grande ospedale Metropolitano niguarda, Centro Antiveleni di Milano, Piazza dell'ospedale Maggiore 3, 20162, Milan, Italy *E-mail:

    Publisher Copyright:
    © 2019 The Royal Society of Chemistry.

    Copyright 2019 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


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