Laundry Detergent Pods Harmful to Children Who Play with Them

Nov 13, 2014


A University of Kentucky pediatric pharmacist is applauding attention given this week to health concerns associated with laundry detergent pods. Findings are being released following a two-year study conducted by researchers with Ohio's Nationwide Children's Hospital.  According to the review, between 2012 and 2013, more than 17,000 children in America under the age of six were exposed to detergent pods.

UK's Bob Kuhn says the brightly colored packets can easily catch the eyes of young children.  "Certainly there have been children exposed to them and probably either at home and had some irritation to the eye or the mouth and maybe they didn't call the poison center or if they came to the emergency department, it was more of a self-limiting thing. But I think the most important thing to get the message out is these can be dangerous," said Kuhn.

Kuhn says laundry detergent is not only poisonous but in such concentrated amounts can cause burns to the mouth or eye.   Kuhn says the study's findings may convince some parents to move the concentrated detergent pods to a higher spot in the home.  "I'm sure a lot of people keep these right next to the laundry machine, probably at eye level. And I think that's where a lot of these happen, where the kids just get up as opposed to 'hey gee, that's Clorox. I'm gonna keep that way up here locked in a cabinet above my laundry room so nobody can get at it,'" added Kuhn.

Kuhn says advocacy groups are calling on laundry package manufacturers to begin producing the detergent in opaque material.​