SOT 2019: Q&A with Dr. Andy Maier and Ms. Melissa Vincent
Improving Safety Assessment Weight-of-Evidence with Poison Center Data
2. What was the scope of your research?
The aim of our research was to evaluate the utility of Poison Center (PC) data for consumer product safety assessment. US PCs respond to millions of calls per year involving accidental and intentional misuse of consumer products and this information is uploaded to the National Poison Data System (NPDS). It is a currently underutilized source of risk assessment information. We conducted a retrospective analysis of PC data on human exposure to alcohol-based hand sanitizers (ABHS) to 1) evaluate which weight of evidence gaps could be filled by PC data and 2) improve understanding of the circumstances or product attributes that lead to ABHS exposure incidents among young children.
3. What did you find?
PC data can improve understanding of consumer product risk by contributing to hazard characterization, dose-response, and risk management considerations. The retrospective analysis of ABHS exposure incidents allowed us to establish that ABHS products have a high margin of safety with no reported deaths and few major effects associated with intentional misuse. However, exposure to higher quantities of ABHS (e.g., more than just a mouthful) increases the risk that a minor or moderate effect will occur. Minimizing accidental exposures through product stewardship will prevent occurrence of rare, but moderate, effects. Accidental exposure is most common in young children with direct access to the ABHS product. Children are also more likely to consume more than just a "taste" if they access the product without adult supervision.
4. What are the next steps / what other research is needed?
Although retrospective PC data improved our understanding of the hazard profile for ABHS, there are limitations with retrospective data, including inconsistency in data collection. Prospective analysis would reduce limitations associated with lack of data capture and data validity, and will provide additional utility for qualitative dose-response analysis and analysis of exposure risk factors.
For more information, please contact Dr. Andy Maier at firstname.lastname@example.org and Ms. Melissa Vincent at email@example.com.