Consumer Reports has announced that it will no longer include liquid laundry detergent pods on its list of recommended laundry detergents because of concerns about injuries to young children who eat or open the pods.
In addition to the dangers associated with ingesting the detergent, eye exposure to can cause irritation,corneal scratches, chemical burns and other symptoms. Small children can easily mistake these brightly-colored, liquid-filled pods for candy or toys.
The American Association of Poison Control Centers reports that laundry pod exposures to children under 5 years of age have increased every year since 2012 — and 2015 is on track to surpass previous years. Between January 1 and June 30, 2015 there were 6046 reports of single-use laundry pod exposures in children under 5 in the United States.
And according to a 2014 study in the journal Pediatrics, more than 7 percent of laundry pod exposures to children under 6 years old involved the eye, either alone or in combination with other kinds of exposure like eating or inhaling the detergent.
When children are exposed to bottled liquid laundry detergent, the symptoms are often relatively mild. However, exposure to the highly-concentrated detergent in laundry pods seems to be causing more severe symptoms, and has been linked to at least two deaths.