Laundry Pods or Candy? Why Parents Need to Reconsider Their Laundry Detergent
The release of the laundry ‘pod’ in 2012 was supposed to be the answer to the dreaded laundry day. Now there would be no more measuring out detergent and softener for each load; instead, it was available in light, prepackaged squares. However, these colorful pods have become a growing danger to children across the country.
In 2014 alone, poison control centers received roughly 11,714 calls regarding children under the age of 6 inhaling or ingesting detergent from these pods. While laundry detergent companies are working to deter children from seeking out these pods by changing the coloring and making them harder to open, many children are still very curious about the small packages due to their similarity to candy.
Many consumer safety advocates wonder why America has not introduced standards similar to those in Europe regarding laundry pods. As of June 1, 2015, manufacturers in Europe will have to introduce an aversive agent in the pods that will cause ‘oral repulsive behavior’ within six seconds of breaking, in addition to new labeling requirements and packaging requirements.
Due to public concern, including stories like that of one 8-month-old who ingested a pod and was rushed to the hospital where she was intubated for two days, manufacturers in America are working to establish new standards as well. The United States Consumer Product Safety Commission has been monitoring the development of these new standards and says they have the ability to enact mandatory standards if needed. Doctors in the emergency rooms treating these children are particularly troubled by the pods because unlike food, drugs, and cosmetics, manufacturers do not have to list all of the ingredients in the pods, making it difficult to determine how the product affects a young person’s body.
In 2015, three separate products liability lawsuits were filed against Procter & Gamble claiming injuries from the Tide Pods product. While Procter & Gamble denies any responsibility, there will surely be additional cases unless new standards are implemented.
What is Products Liability?
Products liability claims are those brought by a consumer due to a defect in a product. Responsibility for these claims ranges from the manufacturer, to the supplier to the retailer, depending on the type of defect (i.e. design defect, manufacturing defect or failure to warn).
A claim brought based on products liability for the above-discussed laundry pods would be due to a design defect. Design defects are considered to be unreasonably dangerous based on their inherent design. Damages can range based on a number of factors and will be something an attorney will help you determine.
Let Us Help You Today
If you or someone you know has experienced injury or illness due to ingesting or inhaling detergent pods, please contact or call Brown & Gould, PLLC at 405-235-4500 today for further assistance. Our skilled attorneys will assist you today.