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Detergent Pods Pose Poisoning Hazard

Laundry detergent pods have been associated with hundreds of poisonings over the past few years.

New technology at the laundromat makes wash day easier, but poses a poisoning hazard for young children. Starting in 2012, laundry detergent became available in pods, which are easier to carry around and far less messy than conventional powders or liquids.

Sadly, the attractive packages have fooled some children into thinking they are toys or treats. Children younger than three years old are the most common victims of pod poisoning, which has landed more than 100 children in the hospital in the last two years. Two children have died.

The investigators recommend that parents of young children stick to conventional laundry detergents, since these are less toxic than pods. They should also store detergent out of children’s reach and keep the Poison Hot Line number in their cell phones and near home phones (1-800-222-1222).

[Pediatrics, online Nov. 10, 2014]

photo credit: Photo from U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission cc cropped

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About the Author
Joe Graedon is a pharmacologist who has dedicated his career to making drug information understandable to consumers. His best-selling book, The People’s Pharmacy, was published in 1976 and led to a syndicated newspaper column, syndicated public radio show and web site. In 2006, Long Island University awarded him an honorary doctorate as “one of the country's leading drug experts for the consumer.”.
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