What could happen if a child licked/sucked a curtain?

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We often get asked similar questions from multiple sources, so when this happens we will try to share these questions online.

On this occasion we have been asked the following questions: 

  •  What would happen if a child were to suck on an Endurocide® Antimicrobial Plus Curtain?

  • What would happen if someone were to lick their hands after touching an Endurocide® Antimicrobial Plus Curtain?

These are very logical questions for paediatric or children’s wards looking to install our Endurocide® Antimicrobial Plus Curtains to ask.  

When calculating the reasonable ‘risk’ that could exist in the above scenarios, there are several factors to consider, such as:

  • The size of the hand touching the curtain and the size of the curtain area being sucked by the child
  • The volume of biocide present on the area being touched/sucked
  • The weight of the person ingesting the possible biocide
  • The willingness of the patient to continue sucking/licking a bad tasting chemical

When assessing the contact area of the curtain we have made an assumption that the average area that may be touched by a hand would be approx. 10cm x 5cm.  If a child was sucking a curtain for comfort, the contact area would presumably be this size or less.

On this basis the contact area is 0.005m2 for a 100gsm piece of cloth and the contact weight of the cloth is 0.5g.  Based on the formulation we use, we have calculated that the amount of chemical in the contact area should be no more than 8.5mg.

If we were to assume that all of the chemical present in the contact area was to be absorbed onto the skin/or sucked (which is highly unlikely due to the fact that our product is designed to adhere to the fabric), then the maximum possible amount of material that could be transferred to the human gut by licking fingers or sucking the curtain would be 8.5mg.  It should be noted that this would be a worst case scenario.

For an average 70Kg adult, this would equate to a maximum possible concentration of 0.12mg/Kg body weight.  For an average 20Kg child, this would equate to 0.43mg/Kg body weight.  On this basis these ingestion levels are well below the ‘no observable effect’ concentrations.

In addition to the above, in considering the potential ‘risk’ it should be considered that a curtain ‘tastes horrible’, which should work to deter a child from wanting to continue sucking on the curtain.

Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the information presented above was correct at time of publication, Bio Technics Ltd., does not assume any liability to any party for any errors or omissions. The above information is supplied for guidance only and is without guarantee. Any opinions expressed in this document are not necessarily those of Bio Technics Ltd. and are not for onward publication without consent.