Lawmakers are going after those little pods of detergent that you drop in the dishwasher or laundry machine, arguing they’re too “enticing” to be around kids.
Sens. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) and Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) are filing legislation authorizing the Consumer Product Safety Commission “to create better packaging safety standards to better protect kids,” according to Nelson’s office.
The senators are responding to an “alarming number of calls to poison-control centers” as toddlers, thinking the pods are candy or juice, break into the packets.
“It astonishes me that manufacturers don’t yet realize that if you make a colorful, enticing-looking product, a child will want to get into it,” Nelson said.
The first known fatality from pod-detergent ingestion was a 7-month-old boy in Florida in 2013. In 2014, the American Association for Poison Control Centers reported nearly 12,000 calls to poison-control centers after kids under 5 had been exposed to the pods.
Nelson will meet today with the Florida Poison Information Center, Dr. Alfred Aleguas, to rally support for his bill.
Swallowing regular laundry detergent “often causes mild stomach upset, if there are any symptoms at all, but poison center experts say the new highly concentrated single-load liquid laundry detergent packets seem to be different,” the AAPCC says of the pods. “Some children who have gotten the product in their mouths have had excessive vomiting, wheezing and gasping. Some get very sleepy. Some have had breathing problems serious enough to need a ventilator to help them breathe. There have also been reports of corneal abrasions (scratches to the eyes) when the detergent gets into a child’s eyes.”