With the new fad of using dissolvable pods (laundry detergent & dish washing detergent) so comes the potential health risks associated with them. Over the past few months, we’ve noticed an increase in children related illness linked to these detergent pods.
Last Month, a child in Central Florida died after accidentally eating a laundry detergent packet, bringing the concern right into our backyard. Poison centers across the country were seeing an average of 10 cases a day, the CDC reported in May. (ABC News)
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned in an October 2012 report “children might be attracted to the pods because their colorful appearance and size are similar to candy.”
“Babies or toddlers who get their hands on them when their parents are doing laundry,” officials said, “could easily mistake the soft, colorful and squishy exterior of the laundry packets.” As the CDC summarized, “a significantly greater proportion of those exposed to laundry detergent from pods had gastrointestinal and respiratory adverse health effects and mental status changes compared with those with non-pod laundry detergent exposures.”
Medical experts are still trying to determine whether it’s the concentration of the packs or a specific ingredient in them that are behind the rash of incidents. “We’re not sure why the clinical presentation is so different from what we see with straight up detergents,” says Dr. Michael Buehler, Medical Director of the Carolinas Poison Center in Charlotte, North Carolina. “What we do know is that when children come into contact with these packs, a significant number of them will develop serious illness, which might include vomiting and lethargy. In some cases, they’ll even stop breathing and require ventilation support.” (Consumer Reports)
The packets are coated in a dissolvable covering meaning that when your child puts the packet in their mouth, it starts to dissolve. This creates an even larger problem for parents who don’t know how long their child has had the packet. It also means that when you are handling the packet make sure you use dry hands or paper towels.
If you think a child has been exposed to a laundry-detergent packet, call your local poison center immediately at 1-800-222-1222.
Wooten Kimbrough, P.A. Orlando Products Liability Attorneys