Warning: Laundry Pods are Dangerous for Children

If you enjoy the convenience of laundry pods and have kids in your home then this is something you must read about the potential poisoning risks for your children.

Ever since the laundry pods appeared on the market back in 2012, many people have jumped at the opportunity to quickly and conveniently do their laundry without having to worry about measuring their liquid detergents.

Though it is super simple and easy for us adults there is a major oversight that is affecting the health of our children. Learn more about it in the video below.

When an adult looks at the convenient pods we may think “quick and easy,” but when a young child sees the pods they immediately see the bright colors of candy and think these toxic pods are edible.

This means that they quick grab them and pop them into their mouths. Traditional laundry detergent is already full of toxic chemicals that can slowly poison us through our skin, just imagine what is is like for a small child who puts the chemicals straight into their mouth. The outcome can be devastating!

In fact, every 45 min in the U.S. a child puts one of these pods into their mouth and poison control needs to be called.[2]

Some of the most dangerous chemicals from traditional laundry detergent are:

  1. Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS)/sodium Laureth sulfate (SLES)
  2. 1,4-dioxane
  3. NPE (nonylphenol ethoxylate)
  4. Phosphates[3]

Nationwide Children’s Hospital Study

According to a study conducted by the Nationwide Children’s Hospital, there were 17,230 children under the age of 6 exposed to laundry detergent chemicals from 2012-2013 mostly by inhaling or swallowing these chemicals.

769 of those young children were hospitalized and one child even died from the toxic chemicals.

Most of these Cases are 2-year-olds!

2/3rds of the cases reported in the study were 2-year-olds who will often explore their environment and put objects in their mouth. Whenever a child put one of these laundry pods in their mouth they are at a big risk for consuming these super-concentrated chemicals.

“Laundry detergent pods are small, colorful, and may look like candy or juice to a young child,” said Marcel J. Casavant, MD,  “It can take just a few seconds for children to grab them, break them open, and swallow the toxic chemicals they contain, or get the chemicals in their eyes.”

Nearly half (48%) of children vomited after laundry detergent pod exposure. Other common effects were coughing or choking (13% of cases), eye pain or irritation (11%), drowsiness or lethargy (7%) and red eye or conjunctivitis (7%). [1]

Laundry Detergent Manufactures are Making some Changes

In response to these concerns, the laundry companies are trying to make some changes to help with this common problem. They have added warning labels to the products in order to spread awareness to parents. They have also made the pod’s container harder for children to open, made the pods taste horrible, and have even begun to change the color of the pods to make them look less like candy.

“It is not clear that any laundry detergent pods currently available are truly child resistant; a national safety standard is needed to make sure that all pod makers adopt safer packaging and labeling,” said Gary Smith, MD, DrPH, “Parents of young children should use traditional detergent instead of detergent pods.”

What Parents can do to help reduce risks:

In addition to getting a non-toxic or liquid detergent here are some tips you can use to help reduce the risk of children becoming poisoned by toxic laundry pod chemicals.

  1. Right after you use your laundry detergent close the container and put them up and away out of the reach and sight of the children.
  2. Save the poison control number 1-800-222-1222 into your phone and write it near you other home phones, keep it on the fridge or in the laundry room.
  3. Get liquid laundry detergent
  4. Get one of the many healthy, non-toxic detergent brands or make your own safer laundry detergent.

Let us know in the comments below that tips and tricks that you have to help avoid this common poisoning problem.



[3]Laundry Toxins

Written By

Kirsten is a writer who loves to practice vipassana meditation, hiking, travel, nature, consciousness, and working to make the world a better place. Her current interests involve studying and practicing flow, staying In Flow, and recognizing the natural flow of the universe. Kirsten loves to learn about the holistic healing arts. She is also interested in ancient cultures and practices such as Druidism. Kirsten is honored to be part of such an incredible movement of love and heart-centered living in this world.

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