Reports on Eye Injuries caused by Chemical Products 2010 in Germany

In Germany, compulsory reporting of poisonings including eye injuries is required on the basis of §16e of the Chemicals Act (ChemG) since 1990. Physicians, consulted for the treatment of diseases caused by chemical substances or products, are engaged to report cases of poisonings to the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR). These anonymous reports contain information about the kind of poisoning, the course of disease and information about the causative chemical agents. Reports of eye injuries reported in 2010 have been analysed and categorised concerning the causative products. Health impairments have been assessed on the basis of the Poison Severity Score (PSS). In 2010, the BfR received 3939 reports of poisonings, 2266 (57,5%) of them have been related with eye injuries. For 282 (12,4%) of the reported eye injuries,a brand name has been reported, 264 (93,6%) of them are light cases (PSS minor). The 191 (67,7%) most frequent reported products causing eye injuries have been cleaning products (32,3%), disinfectants (24,8%), pesticides (6,7%), glues (2,1%) and detergents (1,8%). In reverse, for 70 (30,7%) out of 228 eye injuries caused by disinfections, the brand name has been reported to the BfR. For 91 (15,5%) out of 588 eye injuries caused by cleaning products, the product has been known. Concerning eye injuries caused by pesticides, for 19 (48,7%) of 39 cases the name of the precise product has been reported. Eye injuries caused by detergents have been reported rarely, but the product name has been known in 5 (71,4%) of 7 reports. The number of brand names among the cases reported according to §16e ChemG is still very low. For the exact risk assessment of products, reporting of complete data including the brand name is necessary. This shouldbe a direct appeal to German physicians in hospitals and practices to comply with the regulations of ChemG and to inform BfR about all treated cases of poisoning and injuries caused by chemical substances and products.


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