Tablets/Pods Safety

Goals

To obtain information about safety regulations and measures relating to small, tablet or pod-based home products that manufacturers and sellers must adhere to in Australia, the USA and the UK. This will be used to understand the best practices in manufacturing laundry pods.

Early Findings

U.S.A.

  • Between 2012 and 2017, 73,000 calls were made to the Poison control centers pertaining "single-use liquid laundry detergent packets, or pods" and children that are younger than six years old.
  • The number of calls doubled between the period of 2012 – 2015 but later decreased by 18% in the period of 2015 – 2017 as a result of the voluntary safety standards to make wrappers more difficult to open.
  • Experts believe that concentrated laundry packets can be mistaken by children, as candy. This is why opaque packages were recommended to manufacturers to make them less visually appealing for children.
  • Children younger than six years old have 92% of the exposure relating to laundry pods and manufacturers are required to make their "laundry pod packages PPPA-compliant".
  • In early 2017, there were 6,046 reports that involved children five years and younger ingesting or inhaling laundry pods.
  • Manufacturers are expected to adhere to ASTM International (formerly the American Society for Testing and Materials) standards which are specific to the inner packaging as well as the outer packaging, making the pods harder to chew and with a bad taste as well making the packaging difficult to open.

U.K.

Australia

  • On a weekly basis, at least 50 children are hospitalized for poisoning relating to household products including kitchen and laundry detergent pods and capsules.
  • 5 – 10 children die as a result of such poisoning annually.
  • 85 calls were made about children's exposure to laundry detergents within 18 months prior to 2013. Both kitchen and laundry liquid, powder or capsules are mistaken as candy by children.
  • Requirements are in place for manufacturers to provide product packages that are difficult for children to open, and that have appropriate labels instructing adults how to close packages securely.

Proposed next steps:

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