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The Poison Prevention Packaging Act of 1970 introduced a new concept to the prevention of accidental poisonings among young children. Heretofore, programs were geared to educating adults to the necessity of taking certain precautionary measures to make the child's environment safe. This was now supplemented by programs aimed at inhibiting the ability of the child from gaining access to the available substance by penetrating the package. Declines, particularly reflected in mortality figures, have been dramatic since the inception of the program. Standards promulgated for child resistance and adult effectiveness have required changes in technology and consumer acceptance. Producers, consumers, and the regulatory agency itself have had to make accommodations to the concept of promoting and accepting some inconvenience for a projected gain.
packaging, accident prevention, poisoning (toxicology)
Director, Bureau of Biomedical Science, U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, Washington, D. C.