On Wednesday, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) issued a warning about the use of single load liquid laundry detergent packets. Though convenient and considered less messy than regular powder or liquid detergent, single use packets are accounting for a growing number of accidental poisonings and hospitalizations, particularly amongst children. Colorful, small and soft, children sometimes mistake them for toys or candy, and this can lead to serious problems for those exposed.
Pods or single use packets of laundry detergent offer a convenient and less messy way to wash our clothing, but there are a couple key things to keep in mind.
Single Use Laundry Detergent Pods Are Highly Concentrated – Smaller than a traditional cup of powder or liquid detergent, single use packets are a more concentrated form of detergent, and this means that when you are exposed to it, you are ultimately exposed to a greater concentration of chemicals that can cause skin and eye irritation and can sometimes result in hospitalization if ingested.
Single Use Pods Are Water Soluble – Meant to be tossed in with a load of laundry without having to be opened, each pad is contained in a highly soluble cover so that it can quickly dissolve in the washer. This means that even small amounts of water, saliva, even something as simple as wet hands while handling, can cause these packets to rupture and being to leak.
The Chemicals in Modern Detergents Can Be Toxic – Packed with highly concentrated fragrance and harsh surfactants, detergent can pose a myriad of health risks.
Single Use Packets Are Not Toys- This is obvious to adults, but to small children they are simply bright, colorful packets that might be mistaken for a toy or food.
The lawyers at Swartz and Swartz recommend that parents of small children stay away from these products. However, for those deciding to purchase them, here are a few tips. First, always keep them away from children. Second, store them in their original packaging, and choose a high cupboard or somewhere where they cannot be easily reached. Lastly, if exposed to the eye or ingested, contact the Poison Control Center immediately, and seek medical attention.