Laundry detergent pods raise poison concerns

Consumer Reports: Tide, Costco plan to change some packaging

SAN ANTONIO - Parents may find those colorful laundry detergent pods convenient, but Poison Control numbers show children find them dangerously intriguing.

Consumer Reports and other child safety groups have raised concerns about the candy-colored pods and containers that look like candy or snack jars. Now some manufacturers tell Consumer Reports they will change some of their packaging.

Poison Control Centers have received more than 9,500 reports of children under the age of 6 coming into contact with or ingesting pods since early last  year.

"Kids are naturally drawn to them," said pediatrician Darshan Patel, M.D. "They're water soluble, so as soon as they go into the mouth, they start to dissolve."

Pods from Tide and Costco's Kirkland Signature are top performers in Consumer Reports' cleaning tests, but the packaging and easy access have been a concern.

"Procter and Gamble, maker of Tide Pods, told us they would help address the problem by phasing out this plastic container, hopefully by the end of the year," said Consumer Reports' Dan DeClerico.

The new packaging is opaque and children can't see into it.  Procter and Gamble said it has no plans to phase out Tide's easy-open pouch.

"Costco told us they'll be introducing an opaque container in August, followed by a child-deterrent lid, but not until early next year," DiClerico said.

The bottom line is all detergent should be kept out of reach of curious children.

For a list of recent stories Marilyn Moritz has done, click here.


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