Dec. 1, 2015 By Jackie Strawbridge
In an effort to stem accidental poisonings in young children, Assemblywoman Aravella Simotas has introduced legislation that would make laundry detergent packets less appealing to kids.
These single-load detergent packets – also called “laundry pods” – are small and typically brightly colored. According to the American Association of Poison Control Centers, thousands of children are exposed to the highly concentrated detergent inside these packets each year, which can cause vomiting, serious breathing problems and corneal abrasions.
So far this year, more than 11,500 kids ages five and under were exposed to the detergent in laundry pods, the AAPC reports.
In response, Simotas has introduced legislation to regulate what she sees as an irresponsible product.
“Dangerous and toxic substances should not be packaged to look like candy or toys,” Simotas said in a statement. “As a legislator and a mom, I am outraged that convenience and marketing have trumped consumer safety.”
According to a release from Simotas’ office, the legislation would mandate warning labels and child-resistant packaging for all laundry pods sold in New York State. It would also require manufacturers to change the design and color of the pods to make them less appealing to kids.
She called these “common sense measures,” adding, “laundry detergent pods should be subject to the same safety measures and warning labels that consumers have come to expect on medicines, cleaning supplies and other household chemicals.”
Simotas’ office was not aware of any laundry pod poisonings in Astoria.