The number of kids and elderly adults poisoned by laundry detergent pods continues to grow. The problem lies primarily with the pod packaging by manufacturers.
The Wall Street Journal today analyzed the data from the American Association of Poison Control Centers. Between 2012 and 2014, the number of reported poisonings jumped from 6,343 to 11,714.
At least seven people have died after biting into single-dose laundry packets, including four fatalities last year and one earlier this year, according to the WSJ.
Both the Consumer Product Safety Commission and the Center for Disease Control have issued warnings to parents and caregivers to keep laundry detergent pods out of reach and out of sight. “These pods may look like candy, but they’re toxic, and we’re seeing more reports of young children being harmed”, explained Urvashi Rangan, Ph.D., Director of Safety and Sustainability at Consumer Reports.
In 2012, Proctor & Gamble changed the packaging of Tide’s pods by switching to a double-latch lid intended to make it more difficult for young children to open. Safety advocates are pushing P & G and other manufacturers to use opaque packaging for the pods instead of clear jars that show off brightly colored packets that attract children and even adults with dementia.
“There is something inherent about these products that makes them unsafe”, Richard Geller, Medical Director of the California Poison Control System told the WSJ.