A recent study which examined phone calls made to poison control centers found that more than 30 children are poisoned every day due to exposure to detergent pods.

The study was conducted by the Center for Injury Research and Policy of the Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital and the Central Ohio Poison Center. It examined calls made to emergency poison control centers made between January 2013 and December 2014.

Of those calls, 62,254 were made due to laundry and dishwasher detergent exposure to children under the age of 6 years old. These included calls about traditional detergent as well as detergent pods.


The study found that 60% of the calls made to emergency centers were regarding exposure to detergent involved detergent pods. This amounted to 37,352 cases of detergent pod-exposure throughout the almost two-year period.

The study also showed that half (50%) of the callers  who contacted emergency centers because of detergent pods were referred to health care facilities for treatment, while only 21% of traditional detergent-callers needed a reference for treatment.

Not only were calls due to detergent pod exposure more common to begin with, but their frequency increased by 17% throughout the less than two-year period. This resulted in around 30 calls a day related to detergent pod exposure, which is roughly equal to one call every 45 minutes.


According to Dr. Gary Smith, senior study author, this shows an abnormally high number of poisonings due to detergent pod-exposure.

“Unless this unacceptably high number of exposures declines dramatically, manufacturers need to continue to find ways to make this product and its packaging safer for children,” Smith said in a statement.


There has been much concern from both professionals and the general public surrounding detergent pod toxicity.

Many studies have shown that ingesting these pods causes more severe poisoning compared to other detergents.

Both experts and parents also believe that their convenient shape and brightly-colored design makes them more attractive for consumption by children.

To find out more about the risks of commercial laundry detergent, and for information on natural alternatives, click here.



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