Consumer Reports: New deadly laundry pod danger

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. (Photo credit: Consumers Union/MGN Online)

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 eight reported deaths in the U.S. associated with laundry pac exposure. Two were young children, but six of those fatalities were adults with dementia. In 2015, poison control centers logged more than 13,000 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. New voluntary standards, including provisions that make these pods taste bitter, have been enacted since January 2017. We're hoping this will help alleviate the thousands of calls 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 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.

All Consumer Reports material Copyright 2017 Consumer Reports, Inc. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Consumer Reports is a not-for-profit organization which accepts no advertising. It has no commercial relationship with any advertiser or sponsor on this site. For more information visit

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