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This week’s question comes from Susan in Bernal Heights, who asks:


Q: “Chris, I heard recently that thousands of young kids are poisoned each year from eating laundry pods they think is candy. Why isn’t anything being done to protect our children?”


A: Susan, thank you for raising this issue. As a parent myself, I find it deeply troubling that some of the nation’s largest corporations are selling an extremely toxic household product and have failed to take all reasonable measures to safeguard our children from accidental exposure to the product.


Laundry detergent packets, or laundry pods, are single-load gel-like capsules that contain concentrated liquid detergent within a thin membrane that dissolves in water.


While all household detergents have the potential to cause illness, the detergent in laundry pods is highly dangerous. When bitten into or swallowed, laundry pods can induce profuse vomiting, extreme breathing difficulties, seizures, chemical burns, dangerously slow heartbeats, coma and even death.


A study published last week online in Pediatrics found that U.S. poison control centers received more than 20,000 calls about children who had been exposed to laundry detergent packets between January 2013 and December 2014.



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