Laundry pods make a tedious chore a little less groan-inducing. No muss, no fuss with measuring liquid soap.
However, since their introduction to the market, warnings about the dangers of the little colorful pods became regular news. And, the popularity of laundry pods continues to rise. According to Consumer Reports, their sales totaled $1.2 billion over a recent 12-month period. Therefore, it’s important to remind people that these little laundry pods could be potentially fatal to those who might mistake them for candy.
8 Deaths From Eating Laundry Pods in U.S.
In the U.S., eight deaths happened as a result of ingesting detergent pods between 2012 and early 2017. Two of the cases involved young children. But the other six deaths involved adults who have dementia.
“Caregivers of children and seniors should be aware that ingestion of the contents of certain liquid laundry packets has led to serious and even tragic incidents,” Patty Davis, press secretary for the Consumer Product Safety Commission told Consumer Reports. “Water, wet hands, and even saliva can dissolve the packets and release the highly concentrated liquid.”
Consumer Reports has been advising consumers since 2012 to keep the liquid laundry pods out of households where children under 6 years old may be present. However, adults with dementia also face a serious risk and shouldn’t be overlooked.
How Laundry Pods Pose A Danger For Dementia Patients
Dementia comes in many forms and levels of severity. However, the most common type is Alzheimer’s disease. This disease leads affected people to experience confusion and memory loss. It’s estimated that Alzheimer’s disease affects around 5.4 million adults in the U.S.
“A hungry person with dementia foraging in a kitchen may misidentify a box of powdered detergent as cereal and still know to pour it in a bowl and mix it with milk from the refrigerator,” Lon S. Schneider, M.D., director of the California Alzheimer’s Disease Center at the University of Southern California told Consumer Reports.
As a result, a demential patient could mistake laundry pods for candy.