Entries in Laundy Detergent (2)


CDC: Laundry Detergent Pods an 'Emerging Public Health Hazard'

ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- There's a new warning for parents who use laundry pods and how kids are mistaking them for bright, colorful candy and eating them.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a report on Thursday saying that during a 30-day period this summer, there were 1,008 cases of children eating the detergent pods.  Initial reports suggested poison centers across the country were seeing an average of 10 cases a day.

Ninety-four percent of poisonings from the laundry detergent pods are among kids 5 years old and younger, according to the CDC's report.

The CDC says that exposure to the detergent pods is "an emerging public health hazard in the United States."

Parents are learning just how dangerous the bite-sized laundry detergent pods really are.  The concentrated packet of detergent sent 1-year-old Isabella Sutton to the hospital after she ate one.

"I just figured they got into candy, and they were eating candy," Jessica Sutton, Isabella's mom, told ABC News.

Minutes later, Isabella had severe vomiting and diarrhea before being rushed to the emergency room.  Similar reactions have been reported across the country with many children also experiencing drowsiness, nausea and potentially life-threatening symptoms like difficulty breathing.

"You don't think about safety proofing laundry detergent," Sutton said.

The makers of Tide detergent -- Proctor & Gamble -- told ABC News in May they planned to unveil new childproof packaging by the summer.  The new packaging features a double latch lid and a larger warning label on the container that some critics say looks like a candy jar.

Proctor & Gamble has distributed the new containers, but never recalled the old ones.  ABC News visited four stores this week and found the old, easy to open plastic containers on shelves.

Proctor & Gamble told ABC News that they are adding an over-the-lid re-sealable sticker that will "gradually be available as of December in stores."  Consumers who would like to use the re-sealable sticker earlier can do so by calling 1-877-751-7227 beginning Nov. 1.

Henkel -- the maker of Purex Ultra Packs -- told ABC News that since May, they have "updated the packaging with clearer labels to warn parents about the risks and to provide more specific instructions in the event of ingestion."

Other detergent manufacturers who previously told ABC News in May that they were reviewing the safety packaging did not respond to requests for an update.

Until changes are made, poison control experts say the onus falls on the parents to keep the detergent packets locked up and out of the reach of children.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Laundry Detergent Pods Poisoning Children

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- To some kids, the bright colors and bite-size packaging of single-use packets of laundry detergent simply look too much like candy. Tuesday night, one-and-a-half-year-old Jeivon Williams put one in his mouth and it burst.  He was rushed to the emergency room with severe nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.

The packets are advertised as no more mess, spills or heavy jugs of detergent, but the American Association of Poison Control Centers is reporting a recent surge in calls about the packets making children violently ill.

“The children who are getting into these little pods are developing many more symptoms than we would have expected,” Bruce Ruck, director of drug information and professional education at New Jersey Poison Center, told ABC News.

The same thing that gives the packets their cute, convenient appeal is the very reason they are so incredibly dangerous. The container for Tide Pods even resembles a candy jar. Responding to the concerns, Tide told ABC News it plans to have new childproof containers out this summer.

The single-dose laundry detergent was introduced in the U.S. in February. The poison control center said it first started to link illness with the pods earlier this month. In the last 20 days, it has received close to 180 calls, almost 10 a day. Texas poison control centers report receiving 57 of those emergency calls.

Toxicologists aren’t sure exactly what in the product is making the kids sick. Other laundry detergents cause only mild stomach upset or even no symptoms at all. But the pods cause severe symptoms rapidly.

There are multiple reports of toddlers who, within minutes of swallowing or biting into one of the packets, developed vomiting, wheezing and gasping. Some of them became non-responsive or had to be put on ventilators or intubated.

While a sticker on the container is supposed to remind parents to keep the product away from kids, poison control is sending out an even stronger message: keep this eye candy out of reach and out of sight.

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio