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Thousands of U.S. Children Sickened by Laundry Detergent Pods, Says Study

According to a study published in the medical journal Pediatrics, of the 17,230 kids under the age of 6 that were exposed to laundry-detergent pods in the United States in 2012 and 2013, 769 of them were hospitalized. The researchers, from Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Ohio, say that the number of laundry pod exposures increased over sevenfold in April of last year from the year previous. Thirty of the kids fell into comas, twelve went into seizures, and one child died.

Some 80% of the laundry pod market is comprised of products made by Tide. While the small packets are convenient for adults doing the laundry- just take one detergent pod and drop it into the wash, no measuring necessary-these colorful, squishy, small packets that can be mistaken for candy by young children are a poison hazard. Last year, the Consumer Product Safety Commission issued a warning to keep liquid laundry packets away from kids.

Swallowing and inhalation appear to be two main ways that kids are getting hurt. Resulting health issues have included vomiting, throat swelling, unconsciousness, breathing problems, temporary vision loss, and drowsiness. However, even adults are not immune from the risks. Handling the packet with wet hands can cause a laundry pod packet to dissolve fast, releasing the toxic contents quickly.

Responding to the study, the American Clean Institute said that laundry detergent manufacturers are working with the CPSC to figure out how to lower the amount of laundry detergent injuries that occur. In a statement, the trade group said that modifications have included better warning labels on proper use, as well as storage and packaging that are less enticing to kids and harder for them to access.

Boston Products Liability
If your child suffered injuries from exposure to laundry detergent pods or some other consumer product, you should contact our Boston products liability lawyers right away. Manufacturers, distributors, and sellers can be held liable for Massachusetts products defects if injuries to children or adults were involved.

There are three kinds of products liability cases:

Design defects, involving flaws that are inherent to the design of the product that make it unsafe.
Marketing defects, involving flaws in how a product is marketed to consumers. This may include inadequate warnings, improper labeling, marketing to the wrong age group, and inadequate instructions for how to use.
Manufacturing defects, involving flaws that were created during the manufacture process.

Even when a product is designed, made, and marketed as intended, if it causes injury, a victim may still be able to successfully pursue Boston products liability damages. If it was your child that was hurt, you may be able to file a Massachusetts child injury lawsuit on their behalf. Contact Altman & Altman, LLP today. Your first consultation with us is a free, no obligation session.

Pediatric Exposure to Laundry Detergent Pods
, Pediatrics, November 5, 2014

Thousands of children poisoned by laundry detergent pods, CBS, November 10, 2013

CPSC and ACCC Warn of Poison Dangers with Liquid Laundry Packets, CPSC, March 21, 2013
American Cleaning Institute Response to Pediatrics Study on Childhood Accidents with Liquid Laundry Packets, Cleaning Institute, November 10, 2014

More Blog Posts:
7-Month-Old Boy Dies After Ingesting Laundry Detergent Pod, Boston Injury Lawyer Blog, August 16, 2013
Boston Products Liability?: Keep Kids Away from Single-Load Liquid Laundry Pods, November 5, 2012
Stryker Settles Hip Implant Lawsuits for $1.43 Billion, Massachusetts Drug Injury Lawyers Blog, November 7, 2014