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Published: September 1st, 2013
Thousands of children have suffered serious and potentially life threatening injuries from laundry detergent poisoning caused by single use pods or capsules, which have been sold without adequate warnings or safety precautions to prevent young children from accessing and placing the packs in their mouths.
OVERVIEW OF LAUNDRY DETERGENT POISONING RISK: Laundry packs are single-load use capsules filled with detergent that are dropped into the washing machine with each load. They are meant to be convenient and less messy, allowing consumers to avoid the need to use measuring cups to determine the appropriate amount of detergent for each load.
Manufacturers have decided to sell laundry packs in packaging that often resembles candy, with many of the pods featuring bright colors and an exterior that is similar in texture and appearance to teething rings or other infant toys.
Since the introduction of laundry detergent pods, poison control centers nationwide have received thousands of calls involving children placing the packs in their mouth, often resulting in severe illness and in several cases causing death.
The American Association of Poison Control Centers reported 6,216 exposures were reported in 2012 and that nearly 5,000 children were exposed to some brand of single-use laundry detergent pod in the first half of 2013 alone.
In August 2012, a seven-month-old Florida infant died after consuming one of the pods. The industry says it is currently in the process of developing voluntary safety standards for the pods in order to improve child safety.
In November 2012, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) issued a laundry detergent pod poisoning safety alert to highlight the poisoning risk for children. The CPSC issued the following recommendations for parents:
- Do not let children handle laundry detergent pods
- Keep detergent pods sealed in their original packaging, and ensure that they are locked up, out of sight and reach of children
- Call Poison Help immediately at 1-800-222-1222 if the packets were swallowed or if exposure to the eye occurred.
As a result of their unsafe design, children have suffered injuries and death due to exposure to laundry detergent pods. A number of individuals throughout the United States are now pursuing compensation through a laundry detergent pod lawsuit as a result of the manufacturers’ failure to properly design these detergent pods.
Tags: Laundry Detergent Pod