A report published in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report said beginning May 17, the CDC and the American Association of Poison Control Centers tracked exposures to laundry detergent from pods.
"From May 17 to June 17, poison centers reported 1,008 laundry detergent exposures to the National Poison Data System, of which 48 percent of exposures involved laundry detergent pods," the report said. "Age was recorded for 481 exposures, in which 94 percent exposures involved children age 5 and younger."
Among children age 5 and younger a significantly greater proportion of those exposed to laundry detergent from pods had adverse gastrointestinal and respiratory health effects as well as mental status changes, the report said.
For example, a child age 20 months was found spitting, but otherwise appeared well, after ingesting the liquid contents of a punctured laundry detergent pod. Within 10 minutes, he developed profuse vomiting and then respiratory distress. He became unresponsive, and developed seizure-like activity. He was hospitalized and was discharged 36 hours after the exposure, the report said.
Laundry detergent pods are single-load capsules that contain concentrated liquid detergent within a water-soluble membrane that dissolves when in contact with moisture.