Atlanta - Liquid laundry pods are a popular way of doing laundry, but they are now out of favor with a well-known consumer group. Consumer Reports is no longer recommending them.
According to data from the American Association of Poison Control Centers, in 2013, a year after coming onto the market, their calls about laundry detergent poisoning doubled. And the numbers keep going up. At the rate calls are coming in,they expect to hit about 12,000 calls by year's end.
According to Consumer Reports, these colorful, single-use, detergent-filled pods look like candy to children. So much so that they're taking a bite out them. These laundry pods are very concentrated. According to Georgia's Poison Control Center, they rank very close to Draino in how toxic they are if swallowed.
Consumer Reports has a hard to watch video on its website of an eight-month-old child intubated and in ICU for two days. A one-year-old who was airlifted and on a ventilator for seven days is featured. These cases are continuing to arrive in emergency rooms everywhere.
In a big move, Consumer Reports says it can no longer recommend their use at all. Testers admit they're convenient and they are a good product, but if there are children six and under in the house, the consumer watchdog group says you shouldn't buy them.
Manufacturers are working to try to stop this trend with packaging that's harder for children to get into, but right now, it's still happening. Not considered a problem are the pods filled with powder or dishwasher detergent pods. Complaints are not coming in as frequently about these as they are not as appealing to children.
Dr. Gaylord Lopez at the Poison Control Center says they are just as toxic but they are harder for children to eat. A laundry pod is filled with fluid and made to easily burst. Before a child can figure out this doesn't taste good, a little bit - and that's all it takes - has already been swallowed. The dishwashing pods, he says, have a tougher casing, and are filled with fluid and powder. It's just harder to get into and less appealing.
Obviously, it's ultimately a parent's responsibility to keep them far away from little hands. Get them in a hard to reach cabinet. If you want to know more about this - give the Poison Control Hotline a call. The number is 800-222-1222.