Lawmakers are saying those soft pods pose a serious health threat to kids, and the companies who make them need to add more warnings.They point out how appealing they are to young kids – these pods are soft and colorful. If you put them in a candy bowl, could your young child know the difference?
These liquid laundry detergent packets, or pods, came on the market in 2011. Since then, the National Poison Data System received more than 17,000 calls from 2012-2013 involving children exposed to chemicals in the packets. Of those, 769 children required hospitalization, and one boy in Florida died.
Sen. Bill Nelson’s (D-Fla.) and Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) are introducing legislation that will call on the Consumer Product Safety Commission to create better packaging and safety standards for the soap capsules. “It astonishes me that manufacturers don’t yet realize that if you make a colorful, enticing-looking product, a child will want to get into it,” Nelson said. The House also has a bill going through their committees that address the same issue. Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.) plans to introduce legislation in the House on Thursday that will force the Consumer Product Safety Commission to issue stricter safety standards for pods.The Detergent Poisoning and Child Safety, or Detergent PACS Act, directs the safety commission to issue a rule requiring safer, child-resistant packaging for liquid detergent packets within 18 months of the bill’s passage.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission is also alerting parents about these detergent packets because the way they look. “Seem to resemble things kids are familiar with such as toys, candy or teething products,” Kim Dulic, with the CPSC, said. “They are soft and some of them are colorful.”
But the American Cleaning Institute calls this bill unnecessary saying, “Manufacturers have already made major changes to their packaging improving warning labels to advise proper use and storage instructions, and changing to opaque packaging.”
The CPSC says the liquid detergent packets fell into the top 10 poisonings and exposures to children this past year.
The American Cleaning Institute gives several actions you can take to keep kids safe:
- Keep single-load liquid laundry packets out of the reach and sight of children
- Do not let children handle liquid laundry packets.
- Read the product label before use.
- Do not cut, tear or puncture single-load liquid laundry packets. They are designed to dissolve in water
- If the single-load liquid laundry packets stick together, throw them away.
- Keep laundry packets in their original container with labels intact.
- Store laundry packet containers away from food, as you would with other laundry products.
- If you think a child has been exposed to a single-load liquid laundry packets, call your local poison center at 1-800-222-1222,