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New deadly laundry pod danger

For years, Consumer Reports has warned about the dangers of liquid laundry detergent packs and children. The packs can look like candy and kids can bite into them. But after looking into the reported deaths from laundry pack exposure, Consumer Reports is changing that advice to include some adult populations.

Since 2012 there have been 8 reported deaths in the US associated with laundry pack exposure. Two were young children but 6 of those fatalities were adults with dementia. In 2015 poison control centers logged more than 13-thousand calls related to liquid laundry pack exposures.

That same year Consumer Reports also pushed for laundry-pack safety, including new packaging that’s now available to consumers. New voluntary standards, including provisions that make these pods taste bitter, have been enacted since January 2017. We’re hoping that this will help alleviate the thousands of calls that poison control centers receive every year regarding these pods.

The American Cleaning Institute -- an industry trade group -- says “manufacturers are fully committed to reducing accidental access to” laundry detergent packets.

Laundry detergent packs remain off of Consumer Reports’ recommended lists. Its new advice: do not use liquid laundry packs if there's a child under age 6 or anyone who is cognitively impaired in your household.

Laundry packs or pods can cause anything from eye irritations to vomiting, lethargy, delirium, and trouble breathing. If you think someone in your home may have ingested a laundry pod call a poison control center at 800-222-1222 or 91-1 and seek immediate medical attention.

All Consumer Reports material Copyright 2017 Consumer Reports, Inc. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Consumer Reports is a not-for-profit organization which accepts no advertising. It has no commercial relationship with any advertiser or sponsor on this site. For more information visit consumer.org.