Those cute packages of soap contain poison. Soap companies are selling pods of laundry and dishwasher products. They package them to make them attractive to customers. They are also attractive to children.
Critics say the brightly-colored packets look like candy or a teething toy. They said the packets might become a public health problem.
A new report says that thousands of children end up in emergency rooms after trying to eat them.
The products came to the market in 2012. In one year, more than 17,000 children under six years of age became sick and were taken to hospitals. The soap packages went into their mouths, were inhaled or squirted into their eyes.
Most of the cases were children one or two years old. Most toddlers ate the contents of the pod. Many became lethargic. Many children choked or vomited. Also, the eyes of many were irritated.
The soap packets tend to burst inside a child’s mouth. The contents can be swallowed at once.
About ten brands of such products are on the market. Top sellers include Tide Pods and All Mighty Pacs.
Poison centers are warning parents. They say to keep the products out of sight and out of reach of children.
The soaps have been sold in attractive and easy-to-open bags. That is changing. Most companies will be putting the pods in hard-to-open bags. They will show warning labels.
Experts are calling for new standards for packaging. They also want the soaps to be less toxic.
Public education programs are underway.
Source: The New York Times November 10, 2014