Laundry pod warning now includes adults with dementia
Sandra Hermiston and Ross McLaughlin, CTV Vancouver
Published Friday, June 16, 2017 6:00AM PDT
Last Updated Friday, June 16, 2017 7:37PM PDT
Consumer groups have been warning about the dangers of liquid laundry detergent packs or pods and children for years. The pods look like candy and kids can bite into them, putting them at risk for medical issues.
But after looking into reported deaths from laundry pod exposure, Consumer Reports is changing its advice to include some adult populations.
Since 2012 there have been eight reported deaths in the U.S. associated with laundry pod exposure. Two were young children but six of those fatalities were adults with dementia.
“An expert that we talked to let us know that people with dementia often mistake random items for food,” explained James Dickerson with Consumer Reports.
While there have been no deaths in B.C. related to eating the detergent, the BC Poison Control Centre has seen an increasing number of calls involving exposure to laundry pods.
And last year, Consumer Reports pushed for laundry pod safety, including new packaging that’s now available to consumers.
“New voluntary standards, including provisions that make these pods taste bitter have been enacted since January 2017. We’re hoping that this will help alleviate the thousands of calls that poison control centers receive every year regarding these pods,” said Dickerson.
Laundry detergent pods remain off of Consumer Reports’ recommended lists. Its new advice is not to use liquid laundry pods if there’s a child under age six or anyone who is cognitively impaired in your household.
The detergent pods are also toxic to household pets like dogs and cats if ingested, according to the Pet Poison Helpline.
If you think someone in your home may have ingested a laundry pod call the B.C. Poison Control Centre at 604-682-5050 or 1-800-567-8911 and seek immediate medical attention.