Liquid Laundry Packets can Poison Children, Warns CPSC By Tod Aronovitz | 03/28/13 | 0 Comment

Children who ingest or come into contact with liquid laundry detergent packets or capsules are at risk for poisoning or serious injury requiring medical attention and even hospitalization, warns the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC).

Ingestion of the products’ highly-concentrated toxic detergents may cause loss of consciousness, excessive vomiting, drowsiness, throat swelling, and difficulty breathing.  Product contact with the eyes has also caused severe irritation and temporary loss of vision, according to reports.

Young children often mistake the soft and colorful packets as candy, teething toys, or other play items.

“CPSC has received more than 500 reports of incidents involving children and adults and is working with manufacturers of the liquid laundry packets to prevent additional ingestions and eye injuries,” CPSC Chairman Inez Tenenbaum said.

She added that CPSC is encouraged by manufacturers who are improving warning labels, making their product packaging less attractive to children, and implementing a comprehensive multi-year consumer awareness campaign. The CPSC is also seeking further design changes to all packages containing laundry packets, making individual packets less accessible to children.

To prevent unintended exposure, the following steps are recommended:

  1. Do not let children handle the laundry packets.
  2. Keep the product sealed in original packaging, and keep locked and out of a child’s sight and reach.
  3. Water, wet hands and saliva can cause the packets to dissolve quickly, releasing their detergents. Use only with dry hands, and wash and dry hands thoroughly after each use.
  4. If swallowed or exposed to the eye, immediately call Poison Help at 1-800-222-1222. If swallowed, rinse as much of the detergent as possible from the mouth. If exposed to the eye, flush with water for at least 15 minutes.

More information is available online at www.SaferProducts.gov.

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