Since their introduction in 2012 the market share of detergent pods sales have grown to over 15% of the $7 Billion U.S. laundry detergent market. Although the pods are more expensive they are individually packaged, pre-measured and help consumers to not overuse liquids or powders. While convenient, they come with an increased cost and unique hazards to young family members.
According to a recent study published in the Journal of American Medical Association, Ophthalmology researchers from John Hopkins University have found a significant increase in chemical burns or conjunctivitis in children aged 3-4 years old. Observing the presence of ocular burns they found the incidence of these injuries shot up 26% in the three years they studied. They found that toddlers sustained injuries when pods directly squirted into their eyes. Injuries also occurred when pods leaked onto a toddler’s hands and subsequently touched their eyes.
Other dangers from kids touching pods have been documented. A 2016 study published in Pediatrics showed that poison control calls to U.S. poison control centers regarding laundry detergent packets and young children have increased 17 percent over two years. Almost half of all calls were referred to seek immediate health care. Some even resulted in difficulty breathing, heart problems, and twice death.
Research has highlighted how the thin wrapping of the packets makes it easy for children to bite and consume the contents. Critics have suggested that they look too much like candy or teething toys. The New York Times reported about some of these concerns when back in 2014.
The safest way to prevent detergent poisoning or injury is to keep detergent away from children. If you must use these pods, make sure they are in a locked high cabinet. In case of an emergency, contact Poison Help Line at (800) 222-1222.
Laundry pods have been in the news of late for other safety concerns. Inexplicably, teens have been eating the brightly colored laundry packets in what has become known as “Tide pod challenge.”
There have been reports of 39 cases of teenagers aged 13 to 19 eating laundry pods deliberately in the first 15 days of 2018 alone.
The attorneys at the Strick Law Offices are dedicated to representing consumers and individuals who are injured by defective products or negligence of others. Please contact our offices if you or someone close to you is in need of help.