Consumers involved in Laundry Pod Poisoning Cases File Product Liability and Toxic Exposure Lawsuits in Ohio

Consumer Reports and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) have reported that laundry pods can pose a serious threat to both children and to adults with dementia who may mistake the colorful pods as edible. Unsuspecting consumers have been ingesting liquid laundry detergent packets, and facing injuries related to the laundry pod poisoning.

Laundry detergent pods pose a life-threatening risk. The CPSC has said there were eight deaths related to ingesting laundry pods between 2012 and early 2017—including six adults and two young children.

Soon after laundry detergent pods were introduced in 2012, Consumer Reports urged manufacturers to make them safer and less tempting to children who are known to be attracted to colorful products. In 2015 the organization advised consumers against keeping pods in households with children under the age of six years old.

Safety officials continue to warn that manufacturers should modify the appearance of laundry packs, to not look like candy, and to lead to laundry pod poisoning.

Joe Lyon is a highly-rated Cincinnati product liability attorney and Ohio personal injury lawyer representing plaintiffs nationwide in a wide variety of toxic tort claims.

What are Laundry Pods?

Used by millions of American consumers, convenient single-load packets are designed to dissolve in washing machines and release highly concentrated liquid detergent. According to the American Association of Poison Control Centers (AAPCC), the concentrated formula poses a greater poison risk than conventional detergent. Laundry pods are known on the market as Pods, Mighty Pacs, Power Pacs, Power-Caps, PowerBlasts, PowerCore Pacs, and Flings.

Lawmakers have yet to put mandatory safety standards in place. Safety groups have suggested certain safeguards like requiring safety latches on packages, opaque packaging, and adding a bitter tasting film to packets to discourage eating.

Procter & Gamble is developing harder-to-open packaging and enhanced warning labels for their Tide Pods. P&G said they have been working with the Alzheimer’s Association to help prevent accidents.

Laundry Pod Poisoning Injury

In 2012, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a report calling laundry pod poisoning exposure “an emerging public health hazard.” In just three years, the AAPCC received over 38,000 reports of exposure to liquid laundry detergent by ingesting, inhaling, getting it in their eyes, or skin absorption.

Children under six account for 90 percent of reported incidents. The other cases of laundry pod poisoning are generally the elderly suffering from dementia. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, brightly colored laundry pods pose more of a danger to adults with dementia than they do to kids.

The wrapping of a laundry pod is made of polyvinylalcohol (PVA), which allows it to dissolve in the machine washing laundry, or in a person’s mouth, leading to the immediate release of toxins and potential laundry pod poisoning. Ingesting these chemicals can lead to severe breathing problems, damage to the esophagus, chemical burns, gastrointestinal problems and neurological symptoms, and death.

To prevent toxic exposure to the toxic chemicals in the pods, the following is recommended:

  • Do not let children or adults with dementia handle the laundry packets.
  • Keep liquid laundry pods sealed in original packaging, locked up and out of sight and reach.
  • Ensure hands are dry before using a laundry pod, and wash and dry your hands after each use.
  • If swallowed or exposed to the eye, seek medical attention immediately.

If a loved one has suffered an injury due to laundry pod poisoning and have questions about the legal remedies available to improve quality of life and medical care in Ohio, contact The Lyon Firm (800) 513-2403. You will speak directly with Mr. Lyon, and he will help you answer these critical questions.