Tide Laundry Pod Recall Issued Over Child Ingestion and Poisoning Risks

The recall comes despite both voluntary and mandated regulations aimed at preventing children from ingesting laundry pods.

Following years of concerns about serious risks associated with Tide laundry pods, which have been linked to reports of severe poisoning when young children bite into the brightly colored detergent packets, Procter and Gamble has issued a recall for more than 8 million packages of Tide Pods, Gain Flings, Ace Pods and Ariel Pods sold in flexible film bags.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced the laundry pod recall on April 5, warning that a packaging defect may make the pods more accessible to children, which could lead to severe injuries if the toxic laundry detergent is ingested.

The manufacturer indicates it has received at least four reports of children in the U.S. gaining access to the laundry packets, three of which resulted in ingestion. However, regulators indicate that they are unable to confirm if the incidents were linked to the specific recalled products, only noting that they happened during the same time the products were on the market.

Tide Pod Poisoning Problems

Single-load laundry detergent pods have become increasingly popular in households across the United States over the past decade, providing pre-filled amounts of detergent in brightly colored gel packs. However, the products have also been linked to a shockingly high number of laundry pod child poisonings among young children and mentally disabled adults, who have mistaken the packets for candy or teething toys.

In response to thousands of emergency room visits that were occurring after contents of the pods were ingested, as well as a number of laundry detergent poisoning lawsuits filed by families throughout the U.S., regulators and manufacturers have enacted a series of measures in recent years that were designed to reduce the risk that the laundry pods would be ingested.

In 2015, the American Society for Testing and Material (ASTM) created new laundry pod packaging standards, recommending manufacturers make design changes to make the packaging less attractive to young children, making the materials harder to tear open or chew on, and coating the pods with bitter flavoring to deter children from continuing to try to bite into them.

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Although the laundry pods were originally sold in packaging that resembled a candy jar or snack bag, measures were taken to make the packaging less easily accessible to children. On Tide Pods and Gain Flings packaging, this included adding a zipper to keep the bag containing the pods closed, preventing young children or disabled adults from being able to see the individual colorful pods.

“The outer packaging meant to prevent access to the contents can split open near the zipper track, posing a risk of serious injury to children and other vulnerable populations if the contents of the laundry detergent packets are ingested, as well as posing a risk of skin or eye injuries,” the CPSC recall notice warns. “Ingestion of a large quantity of any surfactant-containing household cleaning products can cause death among individuals with underlying health issues.”

Tide Pods and Gain Flings Recall

The recall affects 8.2 million packages of Tide, Gain, Ace and Ariel laundry pods manufactured between September 2023 and February 2024, with each flexible film bag containing between 12 to 39 laundry packets.

The recall includes Tide Pods original, Spring Meadow Scent, Light, Plus Oxi Boost, Clean Breeze Scent, Free & Gentle, Oxi, and Ultra Oxi products. It also includes Gain Flings Original, Moonlight Breeze Scent, Blissful Breeze Scent, Spring Daydream Scent, Plus Ultra Oxi, and Plus Odor Defense products. The recall also includes Ace Pods Clean Breeze and Spring Meadow, as well as Ariel Pods Alpine Breeze products. A full list of affected lot codes is available at pg.com/bags. The lot codes can be found on the bottom of the laundry pod bags.

The recalled laundry pods were sold at Big Lots, CVS, Family Dollar, Home Depot, Sam’s Club, Target, Walmart, and other major stores, as well as online through Amazon.com from September 2023 until the present. They were sold for between $5 and $30, depending on the size of the bag.

The CPSC recommends consumers immediately place the bags out of sight and reach of children, and contact Procter & Gamble for a full refund and free replacement child-resistant bag. The company is also providing cabinet locks for securing laundry materials. To participate in the recall, consumers can submit a photo of the recalled product, showing the lot code.

Consumers with questions can contact Procter & Gamble toll-free at 833-347-5764, or online at pg.com/bags.

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