Laundry Detergent Pods Pose Poison Risk to Children

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Laundry Detergent Pods Pose Poison Risk to Children

Along with child-proofing your home, you may need to move your soaps and detergents to a higher shelf or lock them away. New laundry detergent pods, introduced in 2012, are being mistaken as candy by children. What was created to help reduce time spent measuring detergent for adults could be a severe risk for children. The laundry detergent pods were the cause of more than 17,000 poison center calls and 700 hospital visits in the past two years.

Some incidents involving the detergent pods have involved seizures, coma and death, according to new research. Most incidents occur in children under the age of six. The research found 144 children suffered eye injuries, 30 went into comas, 12 had seizures and one died. The researchers are now urging manufacturers to make the packaging safer and less attractive to young children.

These pods are far different than just plain liquid or powder detergent. They are highly concentrated with industrial enzymes. When digested by young children, their own proteins and lipids are exposed to sensitive mucous membranes. The result is prolonged vomiting, coughing, difficulty in breathing, and drowsiness. They can even be harmful to adults who touch their eyes, nose or mouth without washing their hands. In humid climates, pods have been known to melt, which make it easier to transfer to skin.

In 2013, Proctor & Gamble manufactured their products in opaque pods instead of bright appealing colors. After this there was a drop off in reported incidents, but there are still numerous cases of children injured as a result of other companies not changing their packaging.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission advises parents to store these products away from the reach and sight of children. Hopefully, through awareness and urging of safety regulators, other companies will work to give good warnings as well as design its products with safety in mind.

Source: Forbes, CDC

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