Laundry Detergent Capsules Look Like Candy to Children

U.S. poison control center officials express concern over the use of the capsules in households with young children.

Single-dose detergent capsules that look strikingly similar to candy have been involved in around 10,000 cases of exposure with young children during the past year, according to The Wall Street Journal, which cited the American Association of Poison Control Centers. The capsules are used in roughly 7 percent of U.S. households.

In 2012, when Tide brought detergent pods to the market, nearly 14,000 children came into serious contact with them. Safety experts have long been concerned about the risk detergents pose to children; according to the newspaper's report, before the pods were introduced, roughly 6,500 children per year had a run-in with or accidentally swallowed detergent.

Though the detergent capsules do raise concern, only one fatality has been reported from the ingestion of one.

In 2012, the association warned of the risks of detergent pods and detailed safety precautions. Procter and Gamble issued a similar warning campaign that year, made the pods more difficult to open, and modified the pods to add larger warning labels, according to the report, adding that a spokesman from Procter and Gamble said the number of Tide pod safety incidents has been declining. 

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