Detergent pod poisoning is still a major concern, according to a recent ABC News story.
The April 2016 story highlighted the results of a new study published in in the Pediatrics Medical Journal. The study found that childhood exposure to laundry detergent pods increased 17% and exposure to dishwasher pods increased 14%.
According to the study, laundry detergent pods are more poisonous than similar products who ingested laundry detergent pods suffered worse complications and more hospitalizations compared to children exposed to dishwasher pods. At least two deaths have been linked to laundry pod poisoning.
Dr. Donna Seger, executive director of the Tennessee Poison Center, told ABC News that the packets are designed to explode underwater and that children who attempt to ingest the pods are at serious risk of inhaling the chemicals and suffering lung damage.
According to ABC News, researchers also addressed the need for safer packaging. Many critics complain that children are attracted to the pods because they look like candy.
However, detergent pods are just one of many cleaning products reminiscent of food. According to Medical Daily, a large number of people have mistakenly ingested Fabuloso multi-use cleaner because it resembled a bottle of juice. The manufacturers added a child-proof cap to prevent children from drinking the potentially harmful fluid, but even adults are confused by this product that looks and smells like Kool-Aid.
According to the article, scientists call this class of products Food Imitating Products (FIP) because they look and smell like familiar edible products and flash a subliminal message to the brain that “hygiene products are food.” The article referenced a PLOS ONE survey that suggested marketers use food metaphors to make “not-so-entertaining” cleaning products more visually appealing.
Other popular cleaning products mistakenly ingested include:
- Cottage Happy Shower Tequila Sunrise-mistaken for orange juice
- Mir dish liquid- mistaken for syrup
- Liquid soap-mistaken for cough syrup
Child injuries caused by unsafe packaging are not limited to cleaning products. Many parents may remember the Tylenol recall a decade ago involving Children’s Meltaways and Soft Chew tablets. The labels on the blister packs made it very easily for parents to misread the dosage and give the child more than the recommended amount of medication, according to the Institute of Safe Medication Practices. The front of the package stated “medicine per dose 80 mg,” however some of the blister packs contained two tabs, instead of one, leaving parents to believe that both tablets were equal to one dose.
The Tylenol recall took the potentially dangerous products off the markets. There has not been a detergent pod recall, but the American Cleaning Institute, which represents the U.S. cleaning products market, issued a statement asking manufacturers to update the packaging and labels, in addition to recommending proper storage and handling. Some manufactures have already switched to safer packaging options and updated their product labels.
Learn more about defective products, personal injury and products liability.