This Year’s Trend Of Turning Plastic Laundry Detergent Pods Containers Into Halloween Candy Buckets Is A “Bad Idea,” According To Consumer Reports.
Every Halloween, a jack-o-lantern’s black jagged grin sports the front of orange buckets that youngsters use to collect their candy. This year, however, Consumer Reports is discouraging the use of Tide Pods and other plastic laundry detergent pod containers as Halloween candy buckets. With more than 8,800 kids under 5 exposed to liquid laundry detergent pods so far this year, Consumer Reports is warning adults to scrap the idea of turning detergent containers into holders of trick-or-treat loot. This is primarily because laundry detergent manufacturers have redesigned their containers to prevent children from assuming the poisonous pods are pieces of candy. Multiple laundry pod lawsuits have been filed after young chilren and the elderly have been poisoned or severely injured after ingesting laundry pods that look a lot like candy.
Detergent manufacturers have come under fire in recent years over their liquid laundry detergent pods which have become popular among consumers because a single pre-measured packets can wash a load of laundry. The problem comes when young children mistake the laundry pods for candy or toys because of the pods brightly colored appearance. According to the American Association of Poison Control Centers (AAPCC), the formula in liquid gel pods is stronger than in standard laundry detergent and can cause such reactions in children as:
• Excessive vomiting
• Wheezing and gasping
• Breathing problems
• Corneal abrasions (scratches to the eyes)
A study published in the November 2014 issue of Pediatrics journal found children 3 years old and younger accounted for 73.5 percent of exposures to laundry detergent packets from 2012-2013. The study’s finding was based on data from National Poison Data System. Over the two-year period, more than 102 children required tracheal intubation, there was one confirmed death, and other clinical effects such as coma, seizures, pulmonary edema, and respiratory arrest.
Consumer Reports is one of several consumer and political advocates that called for laundry detergent manufacturers to make changes to their products including making the containers harder to open and making the containers opaque so children cannot see the colorful pods. An international committee also established a voluntary standard for the laundry detergent industry regarding their laundry pod products. A spokesperson for Procter & Gamble, which manufactures Tide Pods and Gain Flings, said the company has adhered to the new standard and added Child Guard Zipper Packs on its packages.
Consumer Reports cautions that laundry pod containers should not be used as a Halloween candy bucket due to the danger of mixing food with laundry detergent residue. Instead, keep it simple and safe by using shopping bags or old pillowcases to store trick-or-treat candy.