A new social media campaign among teenagers has reignited calls for action from manufacturers of liquid laundry pod detergents. The Tide Pod Challenge was unleashed on Facebook, Snapchat, and other social media forums as teenagers posted videos of themselves biting into and ingesting Tide laundry detergent encased in water solvent pods. What these videos did not show were the fatalities and emergency room visits associated with ingesting such harmful substances.
More Calls to Poison Control Centers
Eight people were fatally injured, and poison control centers across the country have reported over 150 calls relating to 13 to 19-year-old youths that have voluntarily swallowed the liquid laundry detergent as part of a dare. Surprisingly, this is not a new phenomenon. Over the past five years, there have been approximately 50,000 distress calls to poison control centers across the country for people who have swallowed liquid laundry detergent. Many of these calls involved children under six years old.
According to the American Association of Poison Control Centers, young children and people with cognitive deficits, Alzheimer’s disease, and dementia have mistakenly eaten these laundry detergent pods when they were confused by their brightly colored packaging. Thinking the pods were candy, young children were drawn to biting into the water soluble packets and drinking the liquid detergent inside.
A Change in Appearance
Manufacturers of liquid laundry detergent pods have responded to reports of this type of accident by voluntarily making changes to their packaging. Tougher plastic that is not easily penetrated, clear packaging with uniform visibility of the liquid inside the pod, and child resistant packaging have helped to reduce the number of accidents. Still, safety advocates are not satisfied with these initiatives.
Legislators from New York recently reintroduced a bill that would prohibit the sale of laundry pods in the state if specific changes were not made. Should the bill pass, all liquid laundry detergent pods would need to have opaque packaging and be enclosed in non-permeable wrapping. Manufacturers would also be required to include warning labels with clearly identifiable poison icons on the outside of their packaging.
Safety advocates at Consumer Reports and the American Cleaning Institute claim that changes already made by the manufacturers are sufficient and effectively address the safety concerns highlighted in the bill proposal. Manufacturers of liquid laundry detergent pods remain in contact with the Consumer Product Safety Commission to investigate effective strategies for reducing the number of poisoning accidents related to liquid laundry pods.
New Jersey Product Liability Lawyers at Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow, LLP Help Victims Injured by Defective Products Claim CompensationIf you or someone you know has been injured by a defective or unsafe product, you may be entitled to compensation. The experienced team of New Jersey product liability lawyers at Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow, LLP is committed to helping our clients that have suffered injuries from dangerous products claim the maximum amount of compensation available to them under the law. Call us at 732-777-0100 or contact us online to schedule a consultation today. Our offices are conveniently located in Red Bank, Toms River, and Edison, New Jersey, and we proudly serve clients throughout the state.