The same laundry pods that are dangerous for children can be just as dangerous, sometimes even deadly for certain grownups, particularly adults with dementia.
For years, Consumer Reports has warned about the dangers of liquid laundry detergent pacs and children. The pacs can look like candy and kids can bite into them.
But after looking into the reported deaths from laundry pac exposure, Consumer Reports is changing that advice to include some adult populations.
Since 2012 there have been 8 reported deaths in the US associated with laundry pac exposure. Two were young children, but 6 of those fatalities were adults with dementia.
Consumer Reports Chief Science Officer James Dickerson said, "So an expert that we talked to let us know that people with dementia often mistake random items for food."
In 2015 poison control centers logged more than 13-thousand calls related to liquid laundry pac exposures.
That same year Consumer Reports also pushed for laundry-pac safety, including new packaging that's now available to consumers.
Dickerson said, "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."
The American Cleaning Institute, an industry trade group says, "Manufacturers are fully committed to reducing accidental access to laundry detergent packets."
Laundry detergent pacs remain off of Consumer Reports' recommended lists. Its new advice: Do not use liquid laundry pacs if there's a child under age 6 or anyone who is cognitively impaired in your household.
Laundry packs or pods can cause anything from eye irritations to vomiting, lethargy, delirium, and trouble breathing.
If you think someone in your home may have ingested a laundry pod call a poison control center at 800-222-1222 or 911 and seek immediate medical attention.
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