Laundry pods are more dangerous than any other kinds of detergents in terms of child safety, a new study has found.

Laundry and dishwashing detergents have been used in households for decades now. As time passed and technology evolved, laundry pods or packets were invented, With its introduction in Europe in 2001 and in the United States in 2012, associated dangers have cropped up.

While both detergents and packets come with hazardous effects, packets seem to be the more dangerous choice just by looking at the side effects of the two products.

Exposure to traditional detergents may lead to vomiting and burns in the mouth and esophagus, while exposure to laundry pods may result in airway injuries, brain depression, respiratory depressions and infections and even death.

Experts Investigate

For the study, the team discovered that U.S. Poison Control Centers received a total of 62,254 calls related to laundry and dishwashing detergent exposures from January 2013 to December 2014. Such data were noted for children aged 6 years old and below.

Out of the total calls, 60 percent were due to laundry pods, of which 45 percent were referred to a medical center for evaluation and management. Laundry detergent exposure accounted for 17 percent of the calls, conventional dishwashing detergents for 4 percent and dishwashing detergent packets for 5 percent.

The number of incidents associated with laundry pods also had the biggest leap, with a 17 percent rise within a two-year period.

More specifically, the poison control centers received over 30 calls per day or one call every 45 minutes about kids being exposed to laundry pods.

Serious Side Effects

The team also found that the most dangerous clinical impacts were present only in those who were exposed to laundry pods.

The risks of hospitalization and other serious medical outcomes were higher in those who were exposed to laundry pods than in traditional dishwashing/laundry detergents.

Expert Recommendations

In line with the study results, experts recommend family members with children aged less than 6 years old to use traditional detergents instead of laundry pods or packets.

"Many families don't realize how toxic these highly concentrated laundry detergent packets are," says study co-author Marcel J. Casavant from Nationwide Children's Hospital.

Aside from the product recommendation, experts also advise people to seal and store detergents where kids cannot reach it.

The study was published in May 2016 issue of the journal Pediatrics.

Photo: Joanna Poe | Flickr

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