This Morning: Thousands still being poisoned by liquid laundry detergent pods

Michigan

In your health cast this morning, liquid laundry detergent packets are often quick and convenient to use but a new study shows, more needs to be done to prevent people from eating them.

They’re small, colorful, and often get mistaken for candy but these tiny pods contain dangerous chemicals.

A new study by the Nationwide Children’s Hospital finds the U.S. Poison Control Centers received more than 70,000 calls over 5 years regarding liquid laundry detergent packets.

Despite a new product safety standard adopted in 2015, the number of poisonings in young children only dropped by 18%.

“These products are concentrated, and they may be good for the companies that are selling them, but they’re clearly not good for children,” says Gary Smith MD, Nationwide Children’s Hospital.

According to the report, detergent pods are more toxic than traditional liquid and powder detergents.

When ingested they’ve been known to cause burns to the throat and when popped they can burn the skin and eyes.

The report says 8 people have died in relation to the pods since 2012.

Two children ages 7 and 16 months old and 6 adults with a history of dementia.

Why health officials say more needs to be done when it comes to prevention.

“We have safe alternatives, we’ve used them for decades. There’s absolutely no reason why we should have children being rushed to hospitals in coma, having seizures, or even seen the deaths we’ve seen,” says Smith.

Experts urge loved ones who know an adult with a history of dementia to make sure they’re using traditional detergent.

The same goes in households with children under the age of 6.

“If they decide to use the laundry detergent packets, they should be stored up, away, and out of sight. Preferably in a locked cabinet to decrease access by young children,” says Smith.

If your loved one is exposed, there is a poison help line number for guidance.

1-800-222-1222: Poison Help Line

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