Safety Alert: Laundry pods

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consumer watch (KFSN)

Single-dose liquid laundry detergents are convenient and easy to use. But they can also be poisonous. In the first six months of this year, poison-control centers received more than 6,000 reports of young children ingesting the pods or getting them in their eyes or on their skin.

Those highly concentrated pods are more harmful than regular liquid detergent. Consumer Reports has been warning about the dangers since the pods went mainstream back in 2012.

Over the years, manufacturers have tried to make the pods less accessible to young children. Containers are now opaque instead of clear, and some of the packaging is harder to open.

Some manufacturers, including Procter & Gamble, maker of Tide Pods; Sun Corp., maker of All Mighty Pacs; and Cot'n Wash, maker of Dropps, recently announced that they plan to coat their laundry pacs in a bitter-tasting substance. And Procter & Gamble says it will increase the burst strength of the pods to make it harder for them to break open and release the highly concentrated detergent.

Consumer Reports applauds those changes. But until there is a meaningful decrease in the number of injuries, it will no longer recommend liquid laundry pods. And we strongly urge households with children under 6 years old to avoid them.

The danger is with liquid detergent pods, not those filled with powder. But to be safe, Consumer Reports says always keep any detergent out of the reach of children.
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