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Laundry pods back in the news as hazards to children

Laundry pods have been linked to over 1,200 incidences of chemical burns to children's eyes in one three-year period. The JAMA Ophthalmology journal published results of its research that showed the burn rate rose over 30 times for those age 3-4.

The detergent packs first hit the shelves in 2012, consisting of detergent mixtures encased in water-soluble film. The colors were bright and often featured swirls that a child could confuse with a sweet treat.

A scientist who is also the president of a consulting firm said that "the liquid detergent in the pods is not the same as regular liquid detergent. It has a higher concentration of surfactants, chemicals that are responsible for stain removal."

In high concentrations, the ingredients can irritate sensitive skin and eyes. The injuries to small children's eyes occur when the pods are handled and the contents spill out into their eyes or the kids rub their eyes after holding them and transfer the chemicals that way.

The alkaline nature of the detergent makes these type of burns some of the worst possible, even more serious than burns from acids. They have the potential to cause deeper burns to the delicate eye tissues, possibly permanently blinding the children.

Some companies have been very proactive about warning consumers about the dangers of the misuse of their products. Procter & Gamble, the manufacturers of both Tide and Gain previously launched campaigns to heighten awareness of the potential dangers. The company also retooled its packaging more to make it harder for youngsters to open the plastic containers for the pods.

Injuries have also occurred from kids ingesting the pods, leading to severe internal burns and scarring that can create a plethora of long-term health problems.

If your child experienced chemical burns from ingesting or handling these detergent pods, you may have a potential product liability case where you can recover financial damages for their injuries and future health concerns. Seek legal advice if you would like to learn more.

Source: CNN, "More toddlers suffer eye burns from laundry packets, study says," Susan Scutti, Feb. 02, 2017

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