You’d do anything to protect your child. Unfortunately, sometimes the most harmless-looking products are also the most hazardous. When they first came on the market, the brightly colored laundry detergent pods were sold in clear containers, looking just like candy in a jar. At least seven people have died after ingesting laundry detergent packets, while exposures to the pods’ toxic chemicals by young children are reported at a rate of 30 per day.
A recent study reveals that laundry detergent pods pose a serious poisoning risk to young children. Detergent in these single-load laundry detergent packets, sold under such names as Tide® PodsTM, Gain® FlingsTM, Purex Ultra Packs® and All Mighty Pacs®, is released when it mixes with liquids. Infants and toddlers are easily poisoned when their saliva mixes with the detergent’s chemicals.
Laundry Pods: Poison that looks like candy
To a curious young child, laundry pods are enticing, colorful packages. Since 2012, more than 20,000 children have mistaken the bright and squishy laundry detergent pods for candy or teething toys, resulting in at least seven deaths.
Poison control centers across the United States have reported incidents of youngsters putting laundry detergent pods into their mouths, chewing on them, and squeezing them in their hands, causing them to rupture.
Laundry Detergent Pod Lawsuit
The product liability attorneys at Elk & Elk are actively pursuing laundry pod injury claims. Unlike regular detergent, which typically causes only a mild upset stomach, the highly concentrated toxic chemicals in laundry pods cause more severe and sometimes life-threatening symptoms.
Reported injuries from ingesting laundry detergent pods:
- Excessive vomiting
- Wheezing or gasping for air
- Lethargic behavior
- Severe respiratory distress (requiring intubation)
If the concentrated detergent gets in a child’s eyes, serious injuries can occur, including corneal abrasions, ocular burns and temporary blindness. These are all preventable accidents. Although parents and guardians should be vigilant around all cleaning supplies, the manufacturers of the products have a duty to design their products in a responsible manner.
Detergent Poisoning and Child Safety Act
Earlier this year, Sen. Dick Durbin (D., Ill.) and Rep. Jackie Speier (D., Calif.) proposed the Detergent Poisoning and Child Safety Act, which would require the Consumer Product Safety Commission to set rules that could force companies to make more changes to prevent accidents.
“Anyone with common sense can see how dangerous it is to have liquid detergent in colorful, bite-sized packets that children will inevitably swallow,” said Congresswoman Speier. “Toxic, concentrated detergent should not look like candy. It is irresponsible to market a product that is so unsafe to children. These packets must be subject to the same robust safety measures and warning labels that we already expect on detergent, medicine, and similar household products.”
Changes to Laundry Pod Packaging Not Effective
In response to the proposed legislation, Proctor & Gamble, the manufacturer of Tide Pods and Gain Flings, agreed to make some changes to their product packaging. Most of their containers are now made of an opaque material instead of clear plastic, but others are sold in plastic re-sealable bags that resemble food pouches.
Furthermore, according to the Wall Street Journal, “Poisonings and other accidents involving concentrated laundry-detergent packets remain a serious problem in the U.S., despite changes made to packaging and labeling.”
At Elk & Elk, we understand the pain and frustration parents feel when their child is injured due to a dangerous product. Let us handle your claim while you focus on what matters: your family.
Many claims are time sensitive, so act now to protect your rights. Call Elk & Elk today for a free case review of your laundry detergent pod lawsuit at 1-800-ELK-OHIO or contact us online.