March 21, 2013
/PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) are urging parents to take immediate action to ensure their family is not exposed to the hazards posed by liquid laundry packets or capsules. Young children who are exposed to the highly concentrated, toxic detergent are at risk of serious injury.
Reports of incidents in
the United States
have prompted the product safety agencies to warn parents about what can happen if these products are not used safely. Children who have ingested detergent from the packets have required medical attention and hospitalization for loss of consciousness, excessive vomiting, drowsiness, throat swelling, and difficulty breathing. Eye contact has also resulted in reports of injury, including severe irritation and temporary loss of vision.
"A product intended to make your clothes clean and bright should not lead to a parent having to call the poison help line because their child is in distress," said CPSC Chairman
. "CPSC has played a leading role in addressing this emerging hazard. We are conducting an investigation, we are educating consumers, and we are urging that changes be made that will reduce incidents and injuries."
"Poison call centers across
have received more than 85 calls in the last 18 months relating to exposure to these laundry capsules," said ACCC Deputy Chair
. "The experience in
is consistent with an international trend, where most cases have involved a child aged five years or younger."
The number of incidents, in a relatively short period of time, suggests that children are highly attracted to the packets, which can resemble play items. The soft and colorful product can be easily mistaken by a child for candy, toys, or a teething product.