Detergent Pod Poisoning Problem Worsening, Experts Warn

As we reported earlier, detergent pods — the nifty and brightly colored mess-free all in one products from makers such as Tide — have been a recent cause for concern.

It seems small children are mistaking the detergent pods (which are sort of fun looking, we’ll admit) for candy — and ingesting the pods, prompting a high number of emergency room visits.

Detergent pods are relatively new to the market, making the problem with kids ingesting them also a relatively new phenomenon. And in 2012 alone, 250 incidents involving detergent pod poisoning have been reported across the US, many of which required hospitalization.

No deaths related to detergent pods have yet been reported, but there were 82 cases of poisoning in California through the end of May. Six of the hospitalizations (for which there is no cumulative total) were reported to be due to consumption of Tide Pods, while two were connected to Purex Ultra Packs, and one to All Mighty Paks.

Although some of the injuries were serious enough to warrant the use of a respirator, eventually all the children in the above cases of detergent pod poisoning were released from the hospital. No long-term injuries have yet been linked to detergent pods.

tide detergent theft risesJessica Sutton of Georgia told a local news source that her daughter had bitten into a detergent pod and fell ill, and she recalls:

“[My daughter] was throwing up, she was crying, she had detergent all the way down her body. It was not good… It’s very scary cause they said it could cause the throat, tongue and lips to swell where they can’t breathe.”

Detergent pod packaging is currently being evaluated by manufacturers to determine how best to keep curious little hands from getting into the packaging.