According to the researchers who conducted the study published by Consumer Reports, parents of young children should steer clear of such products because they can be very dangerous to their children.
This is what prompted them to remove liquid detergent that comes in single-use packets from the list of recommended detergent.
The concern began in 2012, after various cases of child poisoning and injuries started to become more frequent. In most instances, the children would bite the small pods or scratch the thin membrane of the packet. They would then swallow the liquid or get squirts of it in their eyes or on their skin.
“We are taking a pretty strong stance. We are saying, ‘use a different laundry detergent,” said Dan DiClerico, who is a senior home editor for Consumer Reports.
The non-profit organization, which frequently rates products, said that this type of detergent might cause vomiting, coughing, or, more rarely, breathing problems, seizures or comas. There were also two cases in which liquid detergent led to the children’s death.
The most worrying aspect is that these children are likely to get sicker than the ones who have been exposed to traditional detergent.
While in 2013 there were 10,877 cases of children under 6 who had been exposed to detergent, in 2014 there were 11, 714 cases. This means that the trend is going upwards and that calls for preventive measures.
A representative of Procter and Gamble, which produces Tide, Ariel and Gain liquid detergent packets among others, said that most of these cases did not need medical treatment and some of them were minor incidents.
However they did announce that they would add a bitter taste to their packets and would make them more resistant to breakage. These changes were also advertised by other companies.
Even so, health experts strongly advise parents to keep laundry detergent pods out of the reach of children and avoid having them in the house altogether if possible, because convenience should not be a priority over safety.
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