Image courtesy CPSC

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) received about 500 incident reports in 2012 involving injury due to colorful single load liquid laundry packets. In response, CPSC is advising parents and caregivers to keep all laundry and dish washing packets out of reach of little hands. Liquid laundry packets are brightly colored, squishy and super attractive to children, who mistake them for play items. CPSC points out that many of these packets even resemble familiar items like candy, toys, and teething products. In the reports of harm CPSC received, kids experienced hospitalization after ingesting the contents of these type of products. Loss of consciousness, excessive vomiting, drowsiness, throat swelling, and difficulty breathing (requiring intubation) were all reported issues. Eye injury including severe irritation and temporary vision loss due to ocular burns were also reported. According to CPSC, these packets pose severe harm due to their highly concentrated formulas. The packets not only dissolve quickly once opened, they also release highly concentrated toxic chemicals when contacted with water, wet hands, or saliva. As a green parent, hopefully you’re using safer, less toxic cleaners, including laundry and dish soap, though keep in mind that all cleaning products, eco-friendly or not, should be kept out of reach. CPSC recommends storing all laundry and other soap packets out of your child’s reach and keeping the liquid packets sealed in their original packaging. If your child does manage to swallow a liquid packet or detergent is exposed to the eye, call Poison Help immediately at 1-800-222-1222.

+ Single-Load Liquid Laundry Packets: Harmful to Children (pdf)