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Laundry Detergent Pods

Laundry pods, a formulation of highly concentrated laundry detergent, are sold widely across the U.S. After laundry pods were introduced in 2012, poison centers around the county experienced an increase in calls about children ingesting part or all of a laundry pod. Some of these children have become very ill.

Here's what you need to know about the potential health hazards of this substance:

  • Laundry detergent pods are small, single-dose pods containing a highly concentrated formulation of laundry detergent.
  • Children are exposed to the detergent when they bite into the laundry pod. Bright colors and small packaging might appear to be candy to a child. Other children have gotten the product in their eyes, resulting in significant eye irritation.
  • The most common symptoms of laundry pod ingestions are: vomiting, mouth/throat irritation and coughing. Poison centers in other states have seen cases of children developing serious symptoms such as drowsiness/coma and respiratory difficulty.
  • Calls to IPC regarding unintentional ingestion of traditional formulations of laundry detergent (powder and liquid) are common, however symptoms of laundry pod ingestions are much more severe.
  • Dishwasher detergent packs have not been shown to cause these serious health effects. Parents and caregivers are highly encouraged to keep laundry detergent up and away from children; consider taping or tying the containers closed when stored.

Read about laundrey pod poisoning in children in an IPC blog post.