Product liability issues have arisen with the introduction of so many pre-packaged, combination soap products on laundry room shelves and under the kitchen sink. Manufacturers focused on ease-of-use features appear to have overlooked consumer safety issues. The product designs with bright colors and bold graphics are appealing to the adult consumer, but maybe more appealing… or even appetizing… to young children.
There has been an explosion in dishwashing and laundry detergent products packaged as single-use packets. The ingredients are pre-measured, in liquid or dried form and engineered to dissolve when used properly. The emphasis has been on convenience, not safety.
Infants and young children find these single-use packets to be visually appealing. In 2013 nearly 10,000 children in the U.S. were exposed to the inner toxic contents of these packets according to the American Association of Poison Control Centers. These children mistakenly perceived the bright colors and slick surface as candy and tried to open the package or eat it, or both. Serious breathing difficulties, eye damage, and chemical burns have been reported.
Recent headlines have lead manufacturers to re-evaluate their packaging and make them more difficult for children to open. Even with new child-proof-measures in place, it is important for parents to keep these packets out of reach of their children and stored safely.