Single-Load Liquid Laundry Packets: Harmful to Children

laundry packetsDo NOT Let Children Handle; Keep Locked Up and Out of a Child’s Sight and Reach

Children who are exposed to the chemicals in single-load liquid laundry packets are at risk of serious injury. Some of the chemicals in these laundry packets are toxic. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is advising parents and caregivers to lock up these laundry packets and keep them away from children.

Liquid laundry packets are attractive to children as play items because they are soft and colorful, and they resemble familiar items like candy, toys, and teething products. In 2012 alone, CPSC staff has learned of about 500 incidents involving children and adults who were injured by the product. Children have required hospitalization from ingesting the product due to loss of consciousness, excessive vomiting, drowsiness, throat swelling, and difficulty breathing (requiring intubation). Eye contact with detergent from ruptured packets has also resulted in medical treatment for severe irritation and temporary vision loss due to ocular burns.

Because these packets dissolve quickly and release highly concentrated toxic chemicals when contacted with water, wet hands, or saliva, consumers are strongly urged to always handle laundry packets carefully and with dry hands.

CPSC recommends three safety steps to prevent unintentional poisonings and eye injuries related to single-load laundry packets:

  1. Do NOT let children handle laundry packets.
  2. Keep the liquid laundry packets sealed in their original packaging, and make sure they are locked up and out of a child’s sight and reach.
  3. If swallowed or exposed to the eye, immediately call Poison Help at 1-800-222-1222.